its a fluffy world

DSC00777 AND it’s still coming down. I had to stick my arm out the window in the cellar stairwell to get these. And I have a serious feeling I am going to have to dig my way out the BACK door, just to get to the front door.  And boy o boy am i glad i installed a back door.   The south side of the house has all these snow drifts..like the one on my porch that is now way over my head.  to be fair, there’s that box underneath with the extra cat litter underneath. I am actually kinda wishing i had bought some of those used snow shoes they were selling down at the gear hub… yes i added them to my list with Mr Heater. Didn’t think i would NEED Snow shoes I figured they were purely a recreation thing.

DSC00776 I can’t reach the snow shovel since the damn storm door opens OUT…but i have a shovel inside the back door…chalk that up to one of my better purchases..along with those 55 gallon wheeled trashcans…love them, you have no idea. there have been squirrels at the feeder almost all day, during the worst of the snow.. i can’t explain it, i suppose they can’t reach their hidden treasures, i refilled it a little from the window, i need to get a cup on a pole set up that can do that better, sometimes more ends up on the ground….snow….when i do that. I will fill it better when the snow stops. I suppose if i didn’t have a feeder they’d be in their nest like they should be. my bad.

backdoor With all this snow, i am actually wondering if i will dig myself out in time to GO to work tomorrow. yeah I know if i can make it to the truck I can get there…i parked the truck close enough to the street where that’s not a problem. But i really should dig out the house, mail, fire, safety and all that jazz.

I was worried about the exhaust for heating system on the north side of the house, i was wondering if i needed to get over to that side and dig it out… I checked on it in the basement and saw that cellar window clear of snow and the steam happily billowing out just like burning money. Also like burning money, I found SNOW in the basement…turns out when i was trying to seal up all the cracks and open areas everywhere i could, i missed a spot BEHIND the panel where the heating system is mounted.  or rather THEY MISSED A SPOT.   If I had to guess, I’d say there never were any cinder blocks there, just cardboard and what i can ONLY HOPE is actual plywood behind it.  I can’t reach too far, so all i could do is cut a strip of pink insulation and jamb it down there as far as possible.  Now I am wondering if i need to hire the plumber to come and take down the panel so i can FIX this entire fiasco.  How the fuck did anyone LIVE IN THIS HOUSE BEFORE?  I swear the house was NOT ATTACHED to the foundation, not in any reasonable sense of the word.  It leaks heat like a goddamn sieve.

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Can’t do anything about that until the snow’s gone. I need to filled that entire area with something more solid than pink fluff. right now i am thinking of two by fours, wrapped in mountains of Insulation foam in a can. I shudder to think about how much heat I am losing upstairs with that damn chimney. it’s like having a big snow filled hole right down the center of the house.  THAT’s going to be a problem for next winter.

Actually i keep thinking of what would have happened if i hadn’t added the backdoor on to the house…i’d have to try to crawl out one of the 19″ porch windows fully dressed for winter.  They would find me suffocated to death ass end up – planted face first into a 5 foot snow drift.  God that would make a hell of an  obituary photo.

winter’s coming

2015-01-24 10.14.16I fucked up…..I pissed away a lot of money this winter on books and frames and art supplies, and put off buying what I really needed…that Propane Space Heater for the living room. I guess I had been figured the snow storms we had been getting here were pretty mild, and I would buy it NEXT MONTH, or even NEXT YEAR. I just kept putting it off…and it’s not even THAT much money relatively…88 bucks for the Mr Heater, another $40 for hoses and filter, and i dunno how much for a tank of propane these days… I just didn’t THINK ABOUT IT…and for someone as detail oriented as I am…hey…look i got my little camp stove, i can make a cup of luke warm tea…what the fuck was I thinking? Lesson learned…next fat check i get, Mr Heater gets delivered.

That’s my intention, though I just got last months gas bill and a nice little poll from the city assessors office asking how many square feet of my house is finished and how many bathrooms I got.  So there’s already a LINE ahead of Mr. Heater for any monies that come my way.  But strangely for the 1st time I’m not all that worried…yeah i would have been better if I had a much larger chunk of change in the bank..but it will work out.

If I really want something to worry about ,  there is a huge MOFO of a storm coming our way or so they tell us.   No I wasn’t one of the million lemmings racing to the grocery store for the loaf of bread that will save me from the coming storm.   I snuck over at my leisure very late last night…and came home with important things…like wine..and rootbeer and a couple of chops which I put in to make a Cassoulet….I had already MADE bread..and have about 10 quarts of shelf stable milk, and cat food and food food and toilet paper.. THAT kind of stuff I always have.  I figured out  a while ago, that that kind of stockpiling has less to do with weather emergencies and more to do with financial ones.  I am always ready for that DOWN turn in income…like …well SUMMER, when I may not have the $20 bucks for a bag of catfood etc..

2015-01-25 15.52.31 The place where i work in the morning will be open tomorrow storm or no…and it’s actually within walking distance…so we will see what the weather brings. It would be a shame to get hit by a car walking to a part time job. The other women I work with won’t be there, they are much more sensible. I just don’t like to call in unless I am dead.  The appointment I had to meet with the folks who may actually HIRE me as an editor was moved from Wednesday to Thursday…just in case . But even that’s only 20 minutes away down ONE road.   It sure is cozy here in Maine.

My real estate agent called tonight to see how i was getting on… that was nice of her…aside from asking about the house and the job, she asked me if i made any friends. I had to think about it…sure i meet people, but not really on that level…I told her the kid who works at the place where I repair bikes.  Which is essentially true…but indeed she’s a kid and i’m old enough to be her mother, so that sort of makes her an acquaintance right? at my age, it’s making NEW friends out of wholecloth takes a lot of work, and some luck. It’s not really something I walk out of the door meaning to do.  …i dunno where i’m going with that, it was just an unexpected question..i guess something like your parole officer or psychiatrist would ask.

With these winter storms you DO get to meet your neighbors.  Everyone’s out shoveling and shooting the shit….at the last house, if i didn’t have anywhere to go which was MOST of the, time I didn’t bother shoveling myself out.  The Mail carrier could reach the box and I wasn’t expecting company… here I feel guilty if he has to slog up the driveway through snow.  I suppose if i had a box at the street I wouldn’t dig myself out until it was time to go to work.  But I get out anyway and shovel myself out and wave at the neighbors and say hi to the folks who have walkable dogs. I suppose if I let the snow accumulate now, they’d think the cats had started eating my eyeballs.  Winter’s coming…buckle up.

location location location

2015-01-25 13.32.07 It was about 40 today… that crisp sunny winter day, when you can go outside in a t-shirt to shovel snow off the truck. There’s more snow coming tomorrow or next, so i filled the squirrel feeder and shoveled the edges of the driveway. While I was out there, that nagging thought came back that two years or ten years ago, i couldn’t have seen myself standing in my own yard in MAINE no less. I am not sure about one year ago…i think the visions of getting a new life were the only thing that kept me going last year. For 5 months now I keep expect to do a look back at last years posts and compare and contrast…i was going to do it on the day i closed on the house, then the day i moved in, then the day the porch was done…then my birthday etc… as it happens i can’t bear to scroll back and read last years posts…not yet… I’m doing extra good distancing myself from all that guff. if I dwell on who did what to whom and how I drifted through the 1st 50 years of life ‘waiting’, i will get all tangled up inside my head again. I really can’t say ‘I should have done this sooner.’ It’s quite frigging obvious. But so many things had to happen FIRST for me to let go. I had to be making just enough money to not be tied to a location, I had to be read to cut all ties to friends and organizations…yeah you can say, but your friends are still your friends, but you’d be surprised at how little anyone calls or emails me…just cause i moved an hour away. But my days are my own. after i take care of the cats, and the dog, and the goldfish and the squirrels and now the plants, and soon the garden, but they aren’t chores, these are things that bring me joy. Granted that one elderly cat who is mistaking his bed for a litter box is getting on my nerves. But if i don’t take care of him who will?

2015-01-25 11.25.13 I have never been any good at guessing the future. I never thought i would own a chihuahua…but i do. Spider’s a very nice fella as dogs go. The cats..well the cats I could have predicted… And i have always WANTED to live in Maine since i was a kid reading Louise Dickinson Rich’s We took to the Woods and Robert McClosky’s Blueberries for Sal… and after trying and failing to alter my life course, I sort of gave up at about 30… I just figured I’d have died well before now.

For a long time I thought I would successful at something… and I tried many different things, many of them I was and AM very good at it. But nothing ever panned out into what one would call ‘success.’  For many years at a stretch I was depressed and very unhappy…two subtly different things, that can occur independently but once you have them together you  are really fucked.  As the years ground on, my ambitions got smaller and smaller, what I call successful now would be considered failure by others…hashtag firstworldproblems.

I was looking at all the detritus i have stacked up in the cellar…it’s nice having everything I own in ONE place, it makes it much easier to see what’s important and what can be discarded.   I remember writing 2 or 3 years ago about trying to divest myself of most of my belongings…or at least half…well now i am down to less than half..MUCh less than what I started with all those years ago.. thank god I did that I’d have never fit it all in here.  And now it is just a flick of the wrist to donate something or give it away, I don’t have three other ones stacked behind it.

One of the neighbors walking his dog asked me if I liked my house… yeah, I like it fine, I said.  Why can’t i say ‘I love it’? what’s wrong with that?  is it that I don’t love it YET? will I love it more when i finish all the things that I have in my minds eye? will that make a difference?  What about that little red house with the view, that i STILL love, so much that i try not to think about it? it was truly fucked up inside..and would have cost me more than this one in the end. But why do i LOVE that one and not this one?  Is that the romance of the hot guy who is nothing but trouble, and this house is the schlubby dependable guy you settle for and grow into a comfortable old age with?   Is that what I am preparing for? my old age? did i move here to grow old? When I’m an old woman I will live in Maine and feed squirrels.

I don’t miss much about my old life… I do miss the view a little bit, but I didn’t appreciate it. It just kept me from feeling the claustrophobia I was actually suffering from.  There were NINE mourning doves in my trees waiting out the snow yesterday.  they don’t come by often, I don’t think they like the seeds in the feeder as much as the cardinals and the bluejays.  I may set up a feeder for small birds next year after I get the garden going and figure out where to put it.  Can’t let the squirrels empty that one… they are fat enough now.
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overspray

smallseahorseI added another picture to the bathroom wall today. It’s starting to get pleasingly crowded now. This one has a custom frame from yours truly. I had to put my foot down with myself, I have accumulated a LARGE number of frames for $1 & $2, I scoop a few everytime I go to Goodwill. My original goal was to UPCYCLE the plain ones, and I had been collecting more than decorating.  Tiny house needs tiny art right, so I have been collecting little art for my little frames. The seahorse got a coat of a sand texture Rustoleum and then some of the beach debris I collected in my very few expeditions last fall. The card of course was about $3 on ebay. I can’t draw for shit. I’m lucky I can handle a can of spray paint...right now i’m a little in love with Rustoleum’s textured paints.   

2015-01-24 18.56.52I try to do SOMETHING constructive or decorative every weekend…hey, I’m lucky if I wash the dishes during the week, I have been managing to keep busy. Winters and Seasonal Affective Disorder usually kick my ass, and these last few weeks I have been doing very well. I have a nice routine, work, eat, scoop litter boxes, sleep, with some goof off time worked in. That’s the key to beating SAD and winter back, keep busy and don’t think about it and wait for spring. I am valuing the long weekend days, now that I have a ‘job’ to go to on weekdays, even if it is only 4 hours of non-ditch digging…#firstworldproblem…. One of the days is usually clean the house, do the laundry, and finish any projects that are laying around. The picture frame was one of the things hanging around on the work bench in the basement….i have a spray booth set up down there, where I can throw a coat of paint on something every time I rotate the laundry and don’t have to hang around and breath in the fumes.

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Today I also finished spraying some bin pulls I had in my toolbox… the kitchen drawers have those cockamamie underthe drawer fingerholes instead of actual handles. Considering the size of the kitchen, knobs would just tear the pockets of my clothes, so I elected to spray the pulls three times with high gloss appliance paint and then bake them hard.   I still need three more, so I ordered them off ebay..which is just about where I get all my hardware these days.  If you look long enough you can find things for reasonable prices.

2015-01-24 18.50.13 HDRI also got some paint remover sprayed on to the lights I brought with me. One is supposed to be for the front porch…now that the paint is stripped off. The  other one  for the back door.  I also have a new one for the bathroom which is MUCH more appropriate than the one that’s up there. My mother was a big one for ‘the right lamp’ so I inherently buy lights when I see them. I also want to replace all the ceiling lights in the house.. but i haven’t got any of those yet. I suppose if I had them all ready to go it would be worth hiring someone to come in one day and just put them all in. Perhaps in the spring, when I have all the other things magically done with money i haven’t saved yet. It’s a new old familiar feeling to be broke again. oddly comforting, but still a pain. I need to learn to manage my money better..according to the US bureau of statistics I have about 25 years left to do that. Perhaps in 25 years I will be able to make my own art.

2015-01-23 18.55.00

2015-01-24 14.10.02

something fishy

2015-01-16 15.46.07 It took me a while to get around to going to Harbor Fish in Portland...which is apparently the only decent place to get fish in town…yes i know NOW that is is practically world famous.  I just figured there would be more selection at ALL the stores, and alas there isn’t.  Nearly all the fish stores i have visited sell dressed fillets, scallops and lobster that’s basically it. The only time i see fish with a head on it is the odd trout. The biggest thing keeping me away is the street, it’s very narrow..VERY NARROW.

harborfish2 I figured out the trick for the truck, if I can get DOWN the street to the end and turn around I can WAIT until the coast is clear to leave. Parking that’s another matter.  Apparently mid week midday is quiet enough to take the chance… come warm tourist filled weather who the hell knows?

Once I actually got there I found the herring I have been looking for…..and a lot of other fish with their heads on…. I didn’t understand it,  Maine used to be FAMOUS for sardines….Atlantic Herring canned and labeled sardines…but the only thing they are used for now is baiting the traps for lobsters.  But I am not going to complain at 1.99 a pound, i bought 16 of the little bastards, beheaded and cleaned them and packed them two by two for the freezer.  I can try to get down that street again when these are gone.

Sardines0_72 One of my goals is to ‘eat more fish’ – and I have been diligently trying to warm up to Canned Sardines…now i LOVE canned kippers, but the texture of canned sardines is putting me off. I’m fine with them all mashed up and spread on things, but whole and slimy out of the can isn’t doing a thing for me. But when i have had fresh ones broiled I’m quite fond of.   Since I never do anything by HALVES, I have discovered an entire world of canned fish…and there are probably more than a hundred different brands of canned sardines..hell walmart has at least a dozen.  But no longer are any of them canned in Maine or the US for that matter.  2015-01-13 13.37.01There’s a couple out of Canada and other cold water countries which are quite tasty…but who am I kidding? I can’t tell good from bad, yet.

So right now I am reading canned fish recipes, especially Canned Sardine recipes – which seem to be plentiful.   Before the US stopped fishing and canning sardines…they were a major part of the American diet. American’s didn’t mind the Fishiness, it was before our diets were so filled with salt, so getting the natural ingredients from all canned fish ( fresh ocean fish had to be transported so, most of the US got their fish canned) was just another flavor profile in their diet.  Sardines weren’t gross, they were considered delectable…and Americans also needed to get more of their vitamins and nutrients from canned oily fish so they were encouraged to eat it in every sort of dish. from breakfast, entrees and snacks.  I don’t see myself EVER eating them from the can but you never know.

2015-01-16 21.20.33 I wish I had remembered that I did want to try Stargazy pie before I beheaded all the little buggers. It’s an old cornish dish where you tuck them up to their necks with pastry before you bake them. Yes there was a time when that grossed me out too…but you get old your taste buds change…you need to eat the Omega 3 fatty acids in the fish or you die…so fish heads ain’t so gross these days.

green intentions

photo (2)It’s that time of year when an old woman’s fancy turns to garden planning. Whenever the snow melts down far enough, I start visualizing where I want raised beds, and which shrubs i need to kill, and where I need to undo the things the previous owner had done, which at the time I paid for the house I had found charming, and now I find an inconvenience.  At the last House I had given up gardening about 15 years ago, I was sick of defending my little patch of green from the lawnmower men and my brother. Obviously HERE I can do what I want, where I want. If i want to rip out all the shrubs that annoy me I can. if I want to replace every blade of grass with something i don’t have to mow every weekend, I can do that too.

In essence I have planned to squeeze in as many raised beds as I can fit in any place that gets sun, which amounts to a straight 60 foot strip down the left side of the house.  The patio bricks will come up and find their way around to the back of the house where If I wanted to sit outside I could.  What I envision is a strip of raise beds, with less obnoxious shrubs on the fence side and a paving stone walk to the back door, curving away from the house on the right.

But when I think about 60feet of wood for those beds along with all that dirt not to mention seeds and such, i got very depressed.  If i built the beds properly from pressure treated 2x10s lined with tyvek sure they will last 10-12 years…but that’s a very expensive way to go.  But you can build anything you need out of pallets if you just think about it long enough. I figure just start building the beds….and down the road you can upgrade them as need be.

On Friday, the opportunity arose: someone downtown had free pallets on Craigslist, and it was warm clear weather and I was feeling rather ambitious.  The benefits of owning a pickup truck, you can collect up anything you want whenever you want without having to make arrangements. What I did learn from having the 1st three pickup trucks, is that you have to REALLY WANT whatever it is you are picking up, or at least have plans to get rid of it if you don’t want it. Because it is so sinfully easy to just cart home everything you see, and this way madness lies….So after two trips, the pallets are now parked in my front yard.   I have intentions of moving them around to the back, i just have to decide where.  And if I wait long enough they will freeze in place and I won’t have to decide until mud season.

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I think we all know that FREE doesn’t always mean FREE. It means free with a price you pay on the back end. Many years ago I spent an entire summer disassembling FREE pallets. BTW the BEST free pallets and wooden crates are behind the places that get windshields. And I wish I knew then what I know now. The fastest way to break down a pallet is to use a reciprocating saw and slice through all the nails. Here is a video. It also looks to be the best method to get the wood to stay intact. Now I am not the twenty something I was when i broke down the largest crates with the the longest nails, so just for giggles I checked out reciprocating saws and like everything else they are expensive. HOWEVER I did get an idea, and I found a listing for a Dewalt 18v cordless saw..used, saw only, no battery, no charger,  for $54 no shipping. SUCH A DEAL, I one-clicked that puppy immediately. CAUSE I HAVE a couple of 18v batteries and a charger that I got in the Pawn shop before I moved, when I bought the circular saw and the power drill. …yes I am feeling smug, that is working out to be a good decision.

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IN MY MIND’S eye, I see the pallet wood being immensely useful. After I break them down into lengths I can design raised beds that fit the wood I have at hand. Though I think i need a few more larger heavier pallets if I can find them. I get the feeling my neighbors are going to be very unhappy with me for a while this spring.

sharps, a post with a point.

I had to make an iphone alert to remind me once a week to enter my hours worked for the temp job, so now i have an alert to remind me to write a blog post a few times  a week.  lets see how long it takes for me to start hitting the snooze button on it.  Sorry if some of this is duplicate data, I am trying to wrap my head around some topics. 

2015-01-18 12.30.14One of the yearly alerts I added to my calendar was one that reminded me to clean all my pocket knives, of which shockingly, I have more than I thought.  I can’t remember WHEN I didn’t carry a pocket knife… and I have had to watch the world rotate from one where everyone carried a pocket knife, to one where carrying a pocket knife into certain buildings will cause you no end of trouble.  A totally stupid thing to have to witness I can tell  you.  A pocket knife is a bloody tool. yes you can kill someone with a fat red Swiss army knife, but it takes a LOT of  work and for the most part they have to just lie there and let you do it.  Don’t ask how i know these things, you just don’t want to go there.

I know I had an antique rusty two bladed electricians knife before I had my Swiss Army knife…what I don’t know is what happened to it.  I may have lost it when I was in high school and replaced it with the Swiss Army Knife Camper Model… and I don’t remember where I got either, I suspect I stole the first one from my brother and I may gotten the second as a christmas gift, my memory doesn’t go that far back anymore.   But the Swiss Army knife stayed in my backpack for……well….it’s actually still in my backpack now, thirty Five years and about 9 backpacks later.  As SAK go, the Camper is just about perfect for an EDC, doesn’t scream I’m a slut for useless tools, yet it has about everything you could need just going to school, work or home – without having to fight off zombies, or skin bambi’s mom.

About 27 years ago I found the Stanley 10-049 Pocket knife which has been my GO TO knife ever since… I have used this as a bench knife for book repair, all sorts of hand crafts, and household chores, opening boxes, and even clams.  Biggest feature is that it is CHEAP, and at less than $10 I usually have one in every drawer in the house.  The other things I like about are: that it is FLAT, and can go in a front or back pocker without making it awkward; the blade is also both replaceable and will taken an edge.  I also like that the tip is blunted so you can cut flat against a surface, unlike most pointed weapons.  I treat myself to a new one for the bottom of my purse every few years and rotate the old ones to the work bench.  And NO I can’t take my purse in government buildings, that should be obvious.

When I got my first BIG job I splurged on a Leatherman Micra for my keychain, where it has hung for over 20 years…to be honest I rarely need it except for the scissors which have saved my sanity more than a few times.  I’d rather have it than not have it.

Last December I decided that I wanted a new pocket knife, one with a bail for a lanyard.  That was the one thing the Stanley didn’t have.  I also wanted a knife with a few other blades that i could carry in my pants,  that wasn’t the SAK. Face it, whichever sex you are, you cannot sit comfortably with a SAK in your back pocket, and in your front pocket, it just looks weird.  I didn’t think i would find one i liked since most knives these days are designed to look fierce and not be functional.  But I hadn’t considered that the US ARMY had already done the design work for me.   The Camillus 1760, fit all my requirements so perfectly that once I saw it, I had to have one.  In production from the 40s to the 90s, the truly vintage ones were either truly expensive or fixer uppers, I just kept my eye out for one that I could afford and not feel guilty about buying. I found one on ebay from 1989 and about $30.  turns out it was hardly used, so hardly used that I am have to work on one of the tool blades with some rubbing compound to get it to open more smoothly.  No matter. it fit my coat pocket and hand perfectly.

When I was trolling through second hand shops for birthday slash christmas gifts for myself, I stumbled on this Leatherman in a pawn shop. It normally sells for about $80 on sale and I never could rationalize buying what for me amounts to a glorified pair of pliers. However at less than half price, it was also seriously dirty and wouldn’t open well for the counter clerk, I got it for $25. I couldn’t NOT buy it. I cleaned it and lubed it and bought it a nice new sheath and more screwdriver bits so it came up to about $40 totally.  But I haven’t regretted it.  I LIKE knowing it is in the bottom of my bag along with a tape measure, a flashlight and a roll of gorilla tape.   So I feel rather smug having gotten such a really great discount on a very well designed tool.

So those are my knives.. usually the SAK is home in my backpack and the 1760 is in my coat pocket, so unlike a lot of knife collectors, i don’t think i will need to add to that family anytime soon. In fact if I lost any of them I would just replace them with exactly the same models. If a tool isn’t where you need it when you need it, then its just a waste of money.

HINT: to clean a dirty knife, put it in the sink and pour boiling water over it….or just very hot water…. when it is dried thoroughly, saturate it with WD-40 and clean all the joints and crevices, use a paint brush if you have to.  Work all the blades and respray  you may see it all the dirty come out. leave it open on a paper towel to drip dry.  Then lubricate the joins with oil.  WD-40 is a solvent not an oil.  3 in 1 oil or mystery oil work well, I used a bike lube that has a Teflon additive, mostly cause it was at hand. 

Rust Bucket Queen

raleighLtd-3AI decided on the next project I to work on…ignoring all the other unfinished ones of course… I spent a couple of hours Monday at the Portland Gear Hub restoring a ’74 Raleigh Sport which someone had donated.  It is still not finished, it needs tires, and a seat and some brake handles… but I happily cleaned her within an inch of her life. While I was doing that…which is like my 5th or 6th time down there working on bikes, I noticed I seem to be drawing a following, people asking me HOW to do what I was actually doing, I even had one young man wanted to browse my bucket.  Yes I bring my own bucket of supplies. I hadn’t actually THOUGHT what I was doing was that interesting.

I was already approached by a couple of the local women bikeheads, who want to do a women’s repair workshop in the spring. I felt very odd about that, I don’t know shit about MODERN Bikes, I only know how to clean up old ones and put them back the way they are SUPPOSED to look. Same thing i can do with an old camera or an old typewriter. Show me a derailleur on a bike with more than 5 speeds and I draw a complete blank. Show me a 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub invented in 1936 and I’m your girl to show you where the oil goes. I need to nip THIS bull in the bud before I get committed to doing something way beyond my ken.

The next 15 minutes I get, I am going to start breaking down WHAT I do to an old bike into a 10 minute TED style talk…so if they want me to contribute to their conclave, i will at least be able to expound on something I KNOW about…..and if i am a very good girl, I may put it out as a KINDLE publication.  I may need to start bringing the BIG bucket.

Crap I bought.

2015-01-06 19.14.17I have GOT to start remembering to take BEFORE pictures..i keep forgetting…. I blew about 20 dollars trolling a couple of thrift stores today..i know i shouldn’t, most of my time is spend arguing with myself. But lately I have been having some fun ‘upcycling’ things, or at least making them better than i found them. This plaque, was completely back before i washed in the sink with bleach. I thought it was a beaver with some underwater plants, turns out it was a bluebird and some hydrangeas?  It must have been in someone’s garden and got all blackened with mildew.  I am going to repaint it I just have to figure out what I want it to look like…i have been having a mad affair with Rustoleum lately. I will show you what is like when i finish it – i think it was 1.99.2015-01-03 11.26.23

Last week I picked up this other thing.. yeah..i know it’s one of those ugly bits of crap you get at HomeGoods or TJMAXX for 9.99 but when i picked it up, someone had already paid the 9.99 hung it on their wall, got sick of it, dragged it down and shoved it in the back of their car trunk for a while, cause it was terribly fucked up. Now i would have never bought it in Homegoods, but the $2 bucks I paid for it at Goodwill gave me an hour of pleasure…it wasn’t these colors when I got it, it was kinda of a  grey with just the verdigris showing.  So, I played with some RubNBuff, another new toy..and gave it the metal luster which made the verdigris POP.  I have no idea where it will end, up I think on the porch with a plant pot on it.

2015-01-06 19.36.06More shit i bought, a little spinny thing, with an Marshalls price tag on it..another 1.99. A place for my paint brushes. and another cast resin thing…all fucked up…it is truly hideous, I can’t imagine why someone bought it in the first place… but the character is holding a book, so i figured i COULD do something with it.  Perhaps more of the bronzing stuff…we’ll see what i do with it.  Perhaps I should add a caption to it?  2015-01-06 19.37.21 This little northwind came with me from the other house…up until the other day, it was just plain beige, the color my house is now.  Hanging on the red brick porch at the other house, it looked  cute to me. But here it disappeared against the wall. So I practiced a bit with the Rubnbuff stuff, put some black paint in all the creases, then one gold on the petals, and another gold on the face…it’s a little homely but I kinda like it.  Someplace I have a nice leafy green man from the other house, I just need to find him.

2015-01-03 11.26.57 I wish i was artistic… I swear I am the only person I have met in Maine, who isn’t MAKING some form of art.  I can only replicate things I have seen..or in this case finishes I have seen, I can’t seem to invent something that has never existed before.. oh well, once step at a time.

nuts

2015-01-04 08.28.03I fucked with the natural order of things. HA! Squirrels surprisingly don’t SHARE. They always eat one at a time, in more or less a pecking order. One chases away another one, then the 1st once comes back when the other one has eaten his fill..unless of course still yet another one comes along and chases the second one away. Since they all look alike..like squirrels, some a little larger or smaller, it’s hard to tell what their pecking order is, I can only guess it’s MALEs, then females, older to younger. But regardless…i finally have them eating TOGETHER… well as together as i have ever seen. I guess they have figured out that there is ALWAYS food at Casa de’Gato…so they don’t have to hoard it all… i think the miserable weather had a calming effect, it was too much work to chase each other away. So four squirrels were feasting away on the bit I put on the ground when I OVER filled the feeder today.

2015-01-04 08.18.36All 5 or 6 of the Bluejays came by to steal peanuts, the Female cardinal made an appearance though I am sure he was around someplace. the juncos, and white throated sparrows paid a call when everyone else had moved on. But we had some new guests on CAT TV, three mourning doves paid a call. I don’t know if they will hang around and make it up into the feeder, but I always make a point of spilling enough. I’m gonna have a hell of a compost pile under there come spring. I guess I will have to plant something there, that no one wants to eat. I know I over feed, most people put out feeders for the tiny little birds and make elaborate barricades against blue jays and squirrels and such…but they are the mainstay of CAT TV. Right now only cats that don’t mind the cold will watch it for more than a few minutes, but I expect come spring…and i will be feeding a little less in good weather…that nearly all the cats will be parked out on the porch waiting for a glimpse of the squirrels.

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