Thursday, February 28, 2019

Still In The Kitchen

I woke to snow on the ground this morning. Two days ago it felt like Spring was in the air. This new blast of cold has my joints in a roil. I have become immune to the smell of Theragesic.

I am still working on the upper cabinets. Wonder if I will ever be done. Took a few days to convince HeWho hides saws from me to take out the shelves in one cabinet. The cabinet that had the odd doors. The doors were thick and ornate and, well, I hated them. I had planned to replace them with doors similar to the ones I already have. I found ONE. I need TWO. So I decided to just leave the doors off.

This caused HeWho to stare at me like I had finally gone completely mad. I ignored him. It is the cabinet that goes into the corner and I rarely use anything stored in it. It is just too hard to reach. It is directly over the sink and the two shelves were permanently attached. I was pretty sure they were and I can now testify to the fact that they are. All my effort with the hammer failed.

So, I say to the man with the saw, "Would you please cut those shelves out of the cabinet." He sighed deeply and went off in search of his handy dandy saw that will saw any thing. He came back and told me it was in his truck. So, you think to yourself "So, go get it." His truck was in the shop. I know he was secretly thrilled to not do my bidding. This was last week. His truck was fixed and he cut the shelves out yesterday.

I have decided to fit the opening with a plate rack. But, it will have to be custom made, I can't find one that will fit. I want to place the plates facing out, so it will have to be adjustable or made to fit.
I told him how to do this with the materials already on hand. 2X2's and dowels. You would think I was speaking a different language. He says, "Can't you just buy one?"

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. The back of the cabinet is ugly. Bad ugly. A 4" piece of particle  board graces the top and the bottom to attack it to the wall behind it. HeWho hides saws installed it, so there must be 40 or so screws holding it in. Placed randomly and not all the same kind of screws. Ugly. I rummaged around my salvaged wood and found some pieces of bead board. I measured and found that I had enough, they were of various length and would need to be cut to fit.

This where I almost went out to but myself a saw! But he always seems to know when I am on the edge of a purchase of such and he cut them all this morning. He then went on to explain to me that they would have to be attached only at the top and bottom (really, I am not an idiot!). My request to drag the compressor and nail gun into the kitchen fell on deaf ears. He is afraid I will shoot myself. He left to go do whatever he was going to do and told me he would install them upon his return. 

They are all painted and I am just waiting for them to dry. I will be applying them with liquid nails. Apparently I can use a caulk gun okay. I painted the bead board gray, the same color I will be painting the lower cabinets. I am anxious to see how it turns out and get the rest of the kitchen done.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

I Need A Good Day!

Karma, Even Steven, Just Rewards ….. whatever you call it paid me a visit last night. I don't know what I did, other than being lazy yesterday to invite the atrocity.

I took the day off. I had wanted to start removing the lower cabinet doors and sanding. But there was one trim piece lacking on the top and I had vowed to complete the top before moving to the bottom. I needed HeWho to cut the trim to size so that I could glue and tack it in place before painting it. 

I could not seem to tackle the man for more than 5 minutes yesterday and after 2:00 I gave up and just succumbed to waiting for another day. I did take care of the laundry and prepared another casserole (or hot dish as they say in MN). I parked myself in my recliner in between tasks. We watched a movie and then ate the casserole ( a delightful Chicken Alfredo with spinach noodles, gooey with cheese, made from scratch, no recipe, just used what I had on hand) and watched the news. Then we watched TV ad nauseum until bedtime. 

This is when HeWho gets a little crazy with stoking a roaring fire he imagines will last until morning. It never does and he usually fills the house with smoke. Last night was no exception. I took my three little guys out, Toni Louise refusing to leave her master's side by the smoke billowing fire. I cleaned 3 pairs of wet paws and settled my babies in bed, then brushed my teeth. I climbed into bed all set to watch Saturday Night Live.

He who stuck his head in the bedroom to tell me that Toni Louise had escaped. When I looked at him, question on my face, he explained that he had opened the back door and the front door to try to get the smoke out of the house and had accidentally left the door between the store and our ajar. One would think that he would be careful knowing that Toni Louise is an escape artist …

She came back on her own, to the front door and I heard her toes tapping the floor as she hurried to the bedroom to be lifted into the bed. I managed to holler that her feet should be cleaned first , adding that I had left a dog towel on the bench at the foot of the bed (I noticed this morning that he had used another dog towel instead of the one I left for that purpose; following directions is an alien concept).

The wind was blowing like a freight train and HeWho came in finally and told me to be careful in the morning when I let the dogs out because the wind had taken a portion of the fence out. This is when the power went out.

Of course, HeWho redressed and headed out to "see what happened". What he thought he was going to do, I have no idea. The power in the back of the park was on, but the main building had none. We have a well, the well has a pump, electricity powers the pump that pumps the water from the well to the holding tanks, then distributes that water throughout the park. 

I have long since stopped taking the store line into my bedroom. HeWho ALWAYS has his cell bedside. The only calls that need to be made after midnight should be emergencies. The only people who would call then have his number. No one wants to wake me. But, in the quiet left without a fan to obscure the noises of the night I heard every text, every dog whimper, every snore, every sound of the night.

None of us slept well, not even the dogs. Like young children dogs like routine. The power was still out this morning. No coffee, no shower. Seems I am also a creature of habit and like routine. HeWho presented me with a cup of McDonald's brew and I sat down to sip it and could not read my e-mail. No internet. Drank my coffee and decided to see what I could do that did not require electricity or water. I straightened up and swept, made the bed and then remembered that I had a big container of rain water under on of my gutters! This would facilitate flushing. I could fill a stock pot and place it on the wood stove to slowly heat up and have a sponge bath by evening.

Phone rang and a recording from the power company relayed that they were aware of all the outages. They went on to explain that high winds had caused over 18,000 customers to be without power and they expected power to be restored sometime Sunday (today). I grabbed my bucket and headed out to collect my water.

I had to break through the ice to get to the water and fill my bucket. I flushed the toilet (in the dark, hoping I wasn't splashing that water everywhere) and prepared to go gather more water for the stock pot and suddenly, we had power! And water! And internet service. I hope this means I will have a spectacular day!!

Friday, February 22, 2019

A Day Off

Happy to report that all the cabinet doors have been installed and my shelves have never been so neat! On the other hand, my entire body aches!

I have a corner sink, so the cabinets over the sink are really hard to reach. I asked HeWho is tall to get the screws out of the cabinet door that was hardest to reach. But, I knew better that to ask him to paint that area. So, I scrounged around and found some scraps of wood and made a platform to put my stepstool on. I gained at least three inches and it was enough if I put one foot behind the sink and stretched across the abyss with my paint brush in hand.

I do not like heights, but the ceilings are only 8' high. We put the cabinets flush with the ceiling, after I pitched a small fit to make him do things my way. If you are thinking that I can't possibly reach beyond the lowest shelf, you are absolutely correct! But this is why stepstools are made. 

All the stuff that is used infrequently is always stored on the top shelf anyway. And, the bonus is that it left enough room for the open shelves underneath that hold the items I use daily. The cabinets over my sink are particularly hard to reach, so all the things in them are used only on occasion. 

Back to my aching body. When I am on a stepstool or ladder I tend to hold on with every muscle in my body. I can barely walk! I had a charley horse in my butt muscle today! I stood in the hot shower, then slathered myself with Theragesic. I smell awful, my clothes smell awful.

You will be happy to know that O Cedar delivered on their promise! The first package came last week with the mop head holder. Then, yesterday Fed Ex guy handed me this cardboard tube holding a new mop handle, but before I could investigate the contents (return address was no help), UPS pulled in and my Chewy box arrived. This was an unfamiliar driver and I had to take a moment to explain the meaning of signs and speed limits while the alarmingly overweight young man struggled to heave the box inside. It only weighs about 60 lbs! I can move it. Not right now, but I can. Who do you think carries the bags into the laundry room and puts them in the big trashcan that stores the pet food?

The more I look at the remaining cabinets, the more my muscles ache, I think I will take today off! This will  make the dogs happy. And I bathed my little guys last night, so I will sniffing sweet little heads.

I hadn't planned to wash the dogs, but the snow is melting and the back yard is now muddy. After I finished my day yesterday and sat down, Cujo immediately jumped into my lap (well, I lowered to recliner and made a ramp for him). I commented that he was smelling like a hound dog. He gave me the stink eye, I think I hurt his feelings. They do have a very distinctive odor and when they have been running around it gets a little gamey. Still wasn't that bad. I was tired and could live with a touch of gamey dog.

Then Charming Eddie came over to beg his way into my lap. I put the chair down and leaned forward to pick him up. The fur on his little face had streaks of gray and under his neck was solid gray! Dried mud. His under carriage was covered in mud and his fur was stiff. He looked up at me so innocently while I demanded to know if he had dug a hole in the back yard. 

I picked him up and went straight to the tub. I gathered all my supplies and then turned the water on. He sat patiently in the bath tub waiting to be sprayed with some nice hot water. Eddie loves to be bathed, which makes the chore an easy one. Well, easier that having to hold one down. Eddie has a lot of fur and it takes more shampoo and water to get him clean. Doxies are prone to dry skin, so you have to be sure to rinse them well. Eddie likes the entire process. The preparation, the washing, the rinsing and the drying. Takes two towels to do the job with his long soft hair.

Done with him and longing to just sit down and rest, I looked over at Cujo sitting in my chair with wet eyes. No way was I going to get away with not bathing him! I picked him up and checked the timer on the oven that was cooking dinner. Twelve minutes is long enough to bath another animal fond of his bath. He will jump out of the tub, given the opportunity, and is not fond of the drying. He prefers to shake vigorously and wet everyone in the immediate area. But, with short hair, it is a quicker bath.

Now that I think about it, dog bathing is pretty strenuous on the muscles, too! No wonder I hurt so bad!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Phase One Almost Done!

First five cabinets done! I did paint the insides, as well, but I am not going to let you look inside. That would be far too intimate. 

My shoulders are screaming this morning, but I have four more doors ready to receive hinges and be hung. I can' t find doors for one of the cabinets, so I decided to leave it open and frame it out. I will paint the back side with a fun color, not sure what color yet, but I am leaning towards orange.

I was gifted FORTY-FIVE gallons of paint! It was offered and of course I said yes. I didn't tell HeWho will be hauling it inside about it, so it came as a surprise this morning. He was all flustered, demanding to know where I wanted it. My pre-caffeinated brain was fuzzy and I told him to just put it in the store and I would prepare a place when I was fully awake. This did not satisfy him. He was all in tither, waving his arms and telling me it would take up too much floor space. "Just stack it and I will find space." One more look of incredulity and he was off to get his breakfast.

So, you see, my go-to orange may be replaced with another tantalizing color when I get through looking at all this paint. My shoulders are calming as the smelly Icy Hot is penetrating. Now I find that my hands and wrist are also hurting. I dropped my small iron skillet on my thumb side of my hand last night as I was preparing dinner and it is throbbing. More Icy Hot and I will be ready to go … I hope.

Just four more doors to hang. Now the lower cabinets look really shabby and I mean that in a bad way. The ceiling needs another coat before I start to dis-assemble the lowers. I have a lot of cabinets for such a small kitchen. 

The big problem when doing the lower ones, will be managing my canines. They will want to explore. I might have to get the portable fence in to keep them out of the kitchen. This will not prevent me from cooking. Take-out is limited in these parts. We could actually go out, but I am usually too tired after painting all day.

The good thing about tackling a project like this is weeding out stuff you no longer need. If I keep this up, the dumpster will be bulging! Coffee time is over and cabinets doors await!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

You Can't Catch My Dog!

What an exciting morning! It all started as every morning starts with a cold nose nudging my neck tentatively. If I grunt and turn away, that nose will settle down for a bit longer; but should I begin to rise, the tails will start to wag as the three boy dogs wait patiently to be helped down to the floor. They follow me to the back door to proceed into the yard to take care of business. Do not worry about Toni Louise. She stays with her master, having a bladder capacity that defies all logic.

I stumble along, still half asleep, open the door and let the furry critters out, then head to the bathroom before getting serious and making the coffee. This morning, instead of staring at the coffee, as it drips from the machine I head over to the gate that separates our sleeping area from the sitting area (I find that I have the ability to sleep in both areas). Toni Louise is waiting there for me to take her out. HeWho is her master has awakened and is too busy dressing to think about his dog's needs.

For what ever reason, I look out the window of the back door before I open it to let her out and make a discovery! The back gate is standing OPEN! NOOOOOO!! My babies are loose! I rush to get clothes on and this is unheard of for me. Dressing before caffeine! HeWho has been informed of the gate faux pas and tells me to just stay inside that he will go out into the snow to retrieve my babies. He does, after all have boots on and it snowed again last night.

I think to myself that they will be easy to spot in the snow ……. except for Wall-E. Wall-E will blend into the snow. Eddie, being black will be easy to see and he usually hangs with Wall-E. Cujo will be easy enough to see, but he will not come when called by HeWho is a man in a hat with a big jacket on. No, my Cujo does not like men, even the one who hands out dog treats.

I head to the front and open the store door and step out on the porch to see if they have just circled the building. I call out, but see nothing. Not two minutes later, Eddie and Wall-E are coming in from the front, tails wagging, full of excitement, greeting Toni Louise to tell her about their adventure. No Cujo.

I go to the back door and call my little guy, knowing he does not like to be alone. I know full well that he will come to me if I call him. Suddenly I see his little self along the fence, then HeWho behind him, trying to catch him. I call out my usual call when I want him to hurry in, "Run, Cujo, Run!!"

HeWho tells me to shut up so he can catch my dog. I chuckle to myself as I follow his command and go back inside to let the fool go about his doomed errand, knowing he will never catch my dog. Had he just let Cujo follow the sound of my voice he would have come back into the yard through the wide open gate (you didn't think I was going out there in my flip flops through snow to close it, did you?) and into the house with me.

I settled in with my coffee, confidant that Cujo, having heard me call him, was making every effort to come to one of the doors while avoiding the man chasing him. He did just that and is now snuggled next to me in my recliner as I write this.

HeWho made the mistake of asking me if I would like anything for breakfast. My usual answer is negative, but this morning, after so much excitement, I threw him a curve ball and said yes. Now I know that he means McDonald's. This is his routine. He eats the gravy covered biscuits that smell like dog food in a can every day all winter, then switches to sausage biscuits come Spring. He is predictable. Not me. I tell him I am longing for doughnuts from the bakery in town. I see that look on his face as he is thinking I am a pain in his rear. But he asked, didn't he? So, off he goes to fulfill all my wishes. Okay, one of my wishes.

He just called me to tell me that the nice hot doughnuts will be awhile, as his truck refuses to start and he is stranded in front of the bakery. He goes on to tell me not to worry, he has called AAA for road assistance. Did he think I was coming in my sock clad feet and flip flops? And, yes he does the AAA calls, but so do other guys. Do I feel even a tinge of guilt for his current situation? No, not really.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Failing To Follow Instructions

I am trying to prolong my second cup of coffee (that I am not supposed to drink) for as long as I can. I made good progress on my cabinets yesterday and my joints and muscles are letting me know it!

As I was applying the first coat of paint after scraping and priming, I pondered the idea of painting the interior. Not really the idea, since I had already decided to paint them. No, I was picturing myself trying to bend this way and that way to accomplish the task. So, I thought maybe spray paint might be the way to go.

Of course we have a sprayer. Somewhere in the bowels of the esteemed collection of junk in the barn of HeWho fancies himself to be Fred Sanford. Could even be in working order for all I know. I seriously doubt it. I recall hearing something about letting "that preacher" borrow it and it came back all nasty and clogged up.

Then I pictured the look on the face of HeWho when I asked him to locate it and bring it in for me to use, then wonder what excuse he would use to make me not want to use it. Would he imply that it would be too hard for me to operate? Really. Or, maybe it would have disappeared to another "preacher" and never been returned? 

Knowing that HeWho had taxied a client to the airport, I called him and asked if he would pick up 6 cans of the cheapest spray paint in Walmart on his way home. This would eliminate him stressing his brain to find an excuse for the paint sprayer and I would get the cans a lot quicker.

But, not being one to actually follow very specific instructions he returned with six cans of more expensive paint. High gloss enamel with a long drying time. I wanted the watered down cheap stuff because it would dry quicker and cost less, and well, let's face it, I take great pride in my cheapness.

I am not a stranger to paint in any form. I unloaded just one cabinet, as I had planned to do anyway. One at a time, dry, apply shelf paper (from the Dollar Tree), reload, repeat until done.
This paint was hard to shake and get that little metal ball inside clanging around in the can. It felt thick, if that makes any sense. He got it at Lowes instead of Walmart. The label says it is paint and primer in one and will stick to any surface. 

After shaking the can until the ball inside was rolling round and round to my liking, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to remove the cap on the can. I squoze it just like it said  and could not get it off. HeWho had left on another mission and I was alone and becoming increasingly agitated with that cap. My hands could not apply enough pressure to the squeeze points to get the stupid thing off. So I did what any self respecting old lady would do and knocked that sucker off with my purple handled hammer.

Already having the area prepped and the area around my target covered, I aimed and sprayed. The thick paint spewed out and the mist clouded the entire kitchen. I had not put a mask on, so I yanked the neck of my shirt over my nose and mouth. The coverage was not great, so I waited a bit and sprayed again. The fumes were horrible, so I quit. I only got one shelf, bottom, top, and sides painted. 

Later, hours later, after HeWho wondered about what I had prepared for dinner and gone for take out, I gently touched the painted area and it was still tacky to the touch. I suppose he will be returning the other 5 cans of paint. I will use the brush today. I will finish today and move on to the doors. 

The hardware is painted and ready for installation, save one tiny problem. Upon taking the hinges and handles off, I discovered flat head screws. I have never successfully removed them with a drill, so they had to be removed with a manual screwdriver. I gave one of the screws to HeWho loves to run errands and told him to get some black screws with a Philips head the same size as the screw I gave him. Guess what he didn't get?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Hello Spring?

Wishful thinking? Maybe. There is snow on the ground and it is currently 28 degrees. So, this is what I have been doing while confined to my quarters. 

So, I went a little nuts with detail. HeWho has proclaimed it to be too busy. Like a busy little bee? What does he know? I am longing to see my  birds and bees. To smell fresh earth as I plant new plants and tend old ones ………

Now that I have finished this, I am painting my kitchen cabinets. I will not post "before" pictures. It is just too ugly and I have put it off for so long, waiting until I "had time". The top cabinet doors are all off and I have painted the handles and hinges. 

These are old cabinets I bought from Craigslist. I got a good deal on them and they came with the counter top and hardware. Too many cabinets, as a matter of fact and some are in my sewing room and some in the retail part of the building. I reused some of the cabinets I already had on hand, so the doors don't all match, but when I paint them all it will do fine. 

I managed to find enough hinges and handles by taking them from the cabinets in the other rooms to use on the kitchen. They are drying and I have the first coat of paint on the cabinet frame. I sanded one door and painted it and it looks good. 

I am only dealing with the upper cabinets right now, as they were the ugliest and saddest looking.
Bright white. Really, that is what the can says. It IS bright white and looks like an ad for teeth whitening. Now I am wondering if I should paint the insides.....

I will have to unload them and then reload them, as opposed to just covering the contents while I paint. But, the insides are dark. A nice coat of white paint would make them look cleaner, wouldn't it? Okay, I have talked myself into it.

Oh, just in case you might be wondering, HeWho is not helping. And, that's the way I like it!

Monday, February 11, 2019

It Is What It Is

While we were gone the temperature rose to a balmy 60 degrees. For one day. Most of the snow melted and left puddles in it's wake. I still have a pile in the back yard where it slid from the roof and created Eddies favorite feature. A huge drift that hardened. He would climb it and stand there looking at his kingdom. I could almost hear him thinking, "I am king of the world!" He would stay there while all the other dogs rushed in out of the cold until I yelled the one word that would make him do anything I requested. TREAT!

It is cold and ugly again. The snow makes everything pretty. This gray, desolate sky and all the mess left from the melting snow makes me want to go outside and put things right. But 20 degree weather is not outdoor chore weather. 

Being inside, I can focus on house cleaning. Or not. HeWho drives is busy taking cab fares. He has some regulars he hauls around. His long time regular even called him while we were away. At least he makes money doing this. He would, no doubt, create a need to go somewhere anyway. Far be it from him to combine his needs to one trip. But, it is quiet while he is gone and I can turn the heat down. No one here to question me while I am trying to read or write.

I took some reservations for the coming season and two for long term sites while I was gone. Looking like we will be busy this year. Not sure how I feel about that …… On the one hand, busy means more income; but on the other hand I am tired just thinking about it.

What does HeWho say about it? It is what it is. That would make you think he has deeply profound thoughts. Or, maybe he heard someone else say it?

Thursday, February 7, 2019

I Am Back

Back from where? I guess we weren't cold enough here, so we headed north. The big chill was over, so I tossed all the necessities of life into some plastic bins and clothes baskets, harnessed the fur kids, tossed my keys to Kevin and we rolled out.

HeWho does all the driving grumbled and mumbled as we started out. I ignored him and after placing all the stuff that could fall and shift around in the proper location, I settled onto the sofa bed with my canines. No, I do not ride in the passenger seat next to "I can't hear you". What would be the point? He probably can hear me, he just doesn't chat while he drives.

The dogs would not be happy in the back without me. Cujo has to be touching me and Wall-E doesn't like to see the traffic rushing by. He will shake and hyper-ventilate. Eddie enjoys standing on his hind legs, propped by the back of the drivers seat and looking out the windshield. Toni Louise stands next to him and sticks her cold nose into her master's neck. Irritates him and makes me laugh.

Once we are on the road, Toni and Eddie get bored and lay down by me and sleep. All is well unless one of them try to take over my lap, then Cujo gets pretty annoyed. He tolerates Eddie, but not Toni Louise. He does not try to take possession of her master, now does he? Eddie cares not as long as he has a warm spot to sleep. Wall-E just wishes the trip were over.

We stayed in our son's driveway. On a bit of a slope, HeWho  complained about sleeping with his head lower than his body. I was smart enough to turn around and sleep with my head at the foot of the bed. He slept on the sofa bed. We do not fit into a queen bed with four dogs. I would start out with three dogs and Toni Louise would roam back and forth between beds all night. 

I have decided the most inconvenient thing about not being home is taking the dogs out. I am the designated one to take them out first thing in the morning. Because, like all mothers, I put their needs ahead of mine. HeWho always has to take care of his bladder, then get dressed and fill his ever present cup of Diet Coke before he will even start to leash them up. Not me, I do not want to listen to them whine and then struggle to leash them, getting tangled in the leads. I hook them up while they are still in the bed, stuff my feet into shoes, put jeans on top of my sleeping attire and grab my coat while they descend the steps of the camper. I am pretty sure I don't want to know what I look like. 

It was a short trip, we left on Thursday and came home Monday. We were able to visit with everyone except granddaughter, Layla and her dad, Nick. Layla is a very busy senior in high school and I was told we would need to schedule an appointment with her. None of these spur of the moment trips for that girl!

While I missed seeing her, I was so happy to spend time with her older brother, Gage. He lived in Colorado after he graduated and has moved back. Since he lives in his uncle's house, he was right there. I am happy to report that he still has a big chunk of my heart. I remember when he was five and told me not to hug and kiss him when I took him to Kindergarten. Now he is the one hugging me in public! I just love him so much, always have. He has turned into such a wonderful young man. We ate dinner at the bar and grill where he bartends. I loved watching him charm his customers. Grampa was happy to see him, too.

Wall-E and I went to pick his boy, Gavin, up from school with my daughter. Wall-E shook so hard that Adrienne asked if he was having a seizure …. no, he just hates riding in cars with windows. He stayed in my lap when we stopped to wait for his boy to come out of school and into the car. Gavin had no idea we were coming, so he was totally surprised to see his favorite Gramma seated next to his Mom in the car. Then he opened the door and as soon as he was seated, the dog flew from my lap and into his boy's. Such a sweet reunion. Gavin will always be number one in Wall-E's heart.

I hear both the washer and dryer calling me to unload and reload them. This is not my favorite part of going away, having to clean the RV and wash all the clothes and linens. Why do we call them linens? Should we not call them cottons, or polyesters, or blends? I do wonder about strange things