Clearing the Decks

Today is a little bit of this and that in preparation for the next big thing. More on that in a minute.

This weekend we did a little of this and a little of that. The Hubs mowed between raindrops. We unloaded the attic. We added more knobs.

Check these out:

Laundry Cabinet
Hall Bath Cabinet

How stinkin’ cute are these knobs?? And yep! Still got some left! But I am running out of places to put them. And no, your eyes do not deceive, those doors are not level, but the knobs are! This particular cabinet is slated for demo, so we’re letting it slide.

As you know, Independence Day calls for fireworks. Lots of them if at all possible. And my new ‘hood did not disappoint! There were commercial-level displays in backyards all over here, next door included. It was a tiny slice of home for me!

Here’s what we woke up to afterwards:

I made the pile after walking the yard looking for this junk. The Hubs was kind enough to check around the bamboo monster for me. We’re pretty sure there’s a lot more stuck up in there, but it will have to vomit them out before either of us will pick them up! I’ll collect these on trash day and say goodbye to the celebrations for the year.

Wait, what? Why did you unload the attic?

Tomorrow we got a guy coming. He’s going to put a floor and a set of stairs into the attic.

Here’s a little before action:

This was taken after some stuff came down. A floor up here will make storing our crap so much less precarious. And having stairs will make it easier for me to retrieve stuff without having to wait on the Hubs. Or at least that is what I am telling myself. In reality, there is probably no way I will ever go up there alone. I don’t care how well lit, clean, or organized it is!

My plan is to pack all this stuff into plastic bins to make it less attractive to the local fauna. I’m sure it’s delusional on my part, but that’s what I am doing. An added bonus, I opened a crushed box marked “Christmas 8/21” on Sunday and found a host of things I have been missing in my kitchen! Only a few items were shattered in that box, so it was a banner day!

Anyhow. We are especially excited because since we have been here it seems we have been laying out cash for work. Only the floors have actually been done so far. It’s super maddening.

Oh, I got an email from the AC guy on Friday. All the equipment is in town. Score! Can I get an install date? “I’m waiting for the copper lines.”

Then all the equipment is NOT in town, is it?! Trying to get info out of this guy is more difficult than herding cats. WTF dude. So I will email him AGAIN on Friday and see if he’s in a mood to share.

And last but not least, Auntie got KITTENS!

Annie (white) Josie (tuxedo)

I’m beyond jealous. Not only because she got a white one, but because I was with her when she adopted Alice:

Alice 2014

And that makes Alice part mine! I’m sad I wasn’t involved. But how adorable are these little bugs? Auntie has a knack for picking out the most wonderful animals!

Alice all grown up

How lucky are these guys to have radiators and marble? Especially in New England! Winters are warm and snuggly at Auntie’s!

A Win for The Hubs

You know you have started the downhill slide when you can freely admit to doing laundry on a Saturday night.

That’s right, I am doing laundry!

After a little over a week, my washer and dryer have finally made it back in the house.

When the Hubs got up this morning, I was already crabby. If I were him I would have made up an excuse and took off running. But he’s used to me. He takes it on the chin and usually feeds me.

Today was no different.

Well, a little different, because while we were finishing up, this irate man came storming into the restaurant and started screaming obscenities at the counter gal.

I’m not judging, I’m a huge fan of obscenities. I do try not to shout them in people’s faces, however.

He claimed he’d been waiting and blah blah blah. His parting shot was, “You think you deserve $15 an hour?” and out the door he went.


A few minutes later, the woman from the car came in with the bags and waited patiently for her turn. We left at that point because we figured in about 5 minutes the man was gonna come back in with a gun.


That’s where we are now.

I miss my America.


That was enough drama for one day.

When we arrived home the Hubs got right to work on the laundry room. I figured I had already henpecked him enough, so the 12th time I asked if I could do anything and he said no, I took the hint.

With minimal swearing, a lot of in and out of the garage, and a win for the Hubs, my laundry room was taking shape!

To recap, this is where we started this journey:


I almost forgot what those God awful floors looked like!

All the cleats in place:

All the new shelving in place:

Washer and dryer manhandled from the garage into place:

So close to done:

And the Hubs wins by a nose! Complete with soft-close cabinet door.

Lest you think this was an easy win, we scratched the door on the way in. Also found a greasy can of Pledge among the crap to go back into the room. Note to self: super heating a can under pressure in the garage has some consequences.

As it turns out, we put a little extra storage in here:

I’ll be futzing around with this for a while. But the great win here is I have extra space for crap that somehow manages to accumulate in my house.

It’s not exactly how I imagined it, things never are, but it’s a good representation of what was in my head. And the fact that it’s not overstuffed in the first hour means we did a pretty good job of space planning.

Yay Hubs!

And his reward?

Clean undies tomorrow!

Fair Warning

Yesterday I was mad at the world, so I decided it would not be a good idea to post. The one bright spot was I had to get milk and it was *only* $3.98.

What has happened to my real world?? When is $3.98 a good price for milk??? Of course, gas was $4.45.

The Kraken just told me gas is $5.03 in her town.


Anyway. Who cares? I don’t feel like thinking about this crap today.

While I was watering this morning, I think I saw a couple of seeds sprouting! And one of my blue hostas seems to be trying to live. I’ll believe it when I see it because they look pretty dead. Maybe I should have soaked them overnight before planting them.


Last night after a stressful day, the Hubs put up the first cleat:

Doesn’t look like it, but that is some progress!

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s only Thursday and this is my laundry pile so far:

And that doesn’t include towels! And there is only 2 of us here. I can’t imagine what these piles would be if the Kraken still lived with us!

I kinda need my laundry room back!

In garden news…

I finished the front garden. Well, finished taking out all the grass. And I’m happy to report I did not see one creepy crawly thing while doing it. Trust me, I was super vigilant! I had thought I might see the ants that live out there, but the closest I got was a hole. I shoveled out some grass and then the soil started running into a hole.

I stood there watching it for a second, and when it didn’t stop I briefly thought about telling the Hubs to get out of the house! I eventually shoveled dirt into it until it seemed full.

Wouldn’t that just be the cherry on this ice cream? My sad, irritating, tiny house is built on a sink hole.

Yep, I stood there in my front yard, sweating and dirty, laughing like an idiot.

I did not see a hole this morning while I was watering, so maybe it’s not a sink hole but an empty ant house.

I do have new ant activity on the side of the driveway, so perhaps they have relocated themselves.

I have sad news for them: They are not staying.

I transplanted half of my balloon flower:

It looks very stressed, but the Hubs said it would come back. It’s not like he knows, but he seems to say things with authority and that gives me time to adjust my attitude.

If it survives, I will welcome it. If not, I will be ready to move on.

Here’s where we are at the moment:

Now I’m deciding if I should wait to mulch for the other 5 plants to arrive. Or if I should just mulch Saturday. Maybe save a bag for when the plants arrive.

My daylilies are already starting to settle and look happy.

In other news, we added a shelf to the master:

I found these super cute bottles to store stuff in. I’ve been looking for something to put into them for about a week now!

We also added this little basket in case someone forgets a washcloth in the shower:

Tonight there is an HOA meeting for this ‘hood.

Should I go? Well, not really go, it’s a stupid Zoom meeting. I’m trying to decide if I should call in. On the one hand, I might like to know some of the hot gossip around here. On the other, I really could not possibly care less!

Who knew?

Not to make light of this, but I did some back of the envelope math, and this works out to 0.0108% of their entire labor force. Seems to me, that is also the standard deviation for the amount of asshats in any given profession. Could it be possible that the majority of people getting bit are also total assholes to these dogs?

Asking for a friend.


Still plodding away at the laundry room.

Progress is happening, slowly. We’re working around chaos like this:

The Hubs worked around this to get all the shelves and cleats cut out yesterday. Then we painted the wood parts and here they sit curing.

I was working in the front garden while he did his part:

I got the hostas and all 10 daylilies in the ground. As you can see, I still have a little grass to remove, and 4 plants are “in transit” whatever that means! I left a pathway to the gutter so I can do some something to get the water onto the sidewalk.

It rained about a half inch last night and nobody washed away, so I feel pretty good about this garden right now. I’m gonna add some annuals near the door and in front of the morning glory before I mulch the whole space out.

Meanwhile, back on the inside…

I got a question from my sister, apparently she doesn’t believe I would be so crazy as to paint a door pink. So, here is the actual color I used:

The Hubs refers to it as the Pepto Door.

I painted the room this morning. It took me a coon’s age to do all the cutting in… There are a LOT of obstacles in this tiny room!

This is how it looked before I started:

And now:

In case you forgot, because the color doesn’t really translate here:

Next the Hubs will change out the electrical parts, and then start building out the shelves and hanging the cabinet. Along the way I’ll be following behind cleaning up.

Some people do spring cleaning, I paint.

Oh, and I’m starting to realize why the previous people were so in love with molly bolts! You have to use them because there are no studs.

Hate that.

But our options are somewhat limited.

I don’t know if I ever showed you the light I put in here:

This light was supposed to go on the front porch, but there was an install problem, so it ended up in here. Wouldn’t you know it, the one place I DON’T what there to be a stud is exactly where one is!

It all worked out for the best. In hindsight, a pink door AND a chandelier might have been a little over the top for this room!

I’m told the work should be completed next weekend. I will have a mountain of laundry to do by then!

Downs and Ups

So the laundry room. I took one for the team and painted the trim after lunch yesterday. Yay.

Last night we were discussing materials for the project, we tried to find where the studs are so we could make a good plan.

Which led to this:

Before you ask, yes, we do have a stud finder. We hate it, but on occasion it’s useful. So the above is the result of it not finding a stud and us being mistrustful.

The Hubs stuck his little camera thing into the wall and had a peek. Sure enough, this wall seems to be missing studs.

Cue despair.


I find it unthinkable that this house seems to be held up by magic. We live in a hurricane prone area, and this house seems 100 times less sturdy than any of our houses in VA.

On the other hand, it’s theoretically been standing for almost 20 years, so I guess I just don’t know what I am talking about. I stupidly assume walls should contain studs.

Silly me.

After a couple of drinks and a couple of hours sulking, I had an idea. I shared it with the Hubs and he said it could work.

Great. Project is back on. It’s not going to be as clean and modern as I had hoped, but it should give us the storage we need.

Jump to this morning.

For some reason I was up earlier than the Hubs, so I went outside to do some digging.

Here is where I started:

And here is where I ended:

I thought it was pretty good progress. I still have to take away some dirt, add some compost, and then plant the 10 daylilies that showed up last night. Oh, and the 2 hostas still waiting for a spot.

I’m thinking 2-3 more good digs and this should be cleared.

The morning glories are climbing!

The daisies are not doing well at all! I might direct sow a couple more and see what happens.

I went outside this afternoon to check on things and noticed my shade garden:

It seems it’s not as shady as I thought it was! As the sun moves this summer, I might find that I do not in fact have a shady spot in my yard!

It’s a process, right?!

In other news… I’m refreshing the accoutrements for the laundry room:

Super fun part is, the door is having a spa day in the kitchen:

And this is blocking access to the garage:

Every 30 minutes all afternoon I’ve been going out the front, opening the garage door with the clicker, spraying, closing the door, and then coming back around. I swear the neighbors must think two really damaged people have moved in next door!

I’m still mudding and sanding. I think it’s on the down slide now, finally. I will probably be ready to paint on Monday. Until then, it’s mud/sand/mud/sand repeat.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

Now it’s Mud’s Turn

Currently, I am waiting for mud to dry so I can sand and re-mud the laundry room.

Earlier today I was out watering the gardens and was treated to this guy:

Dragonflies are plentiful here, and sometimes you get time to take their picture.

This guy is apparently a ham, he let me take 2!

After I was done with him I started on the front garden. I’m hoping to tackle it a bit at a time til it’s all torn up.

I didn’t get too far today, but there are other days ahead.

Of course I forgot to take a proper before, but I did take an after:

I sort of feel like I did the “hard” part by working around the mulched parts. There is still a million acres left, but eventually I’ll get them cleared. One issue is that little bit of cleared area fills up my yard waste barrel. I’ll have piles of yard waste waiting to be collected! On the other hand, at least they collect it!

This afternoon I started clearing the laundry room out. Suffice to say, there was A LOT stuffed into that little room! But now it’s scattered throughout the guest room and garage.

Again, forgot the proper before pic!

But did get the first mudding pic:

It’s not too bad, a couple coats and sands and it’ll be ready to go. I washed down the trim I could reach, so that will be ready in the morning. Question is… Trim first or walls first?

How exciting is my Friday gonna be?!

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Does anyone else spend a good part of their lives doing this?

So first, I told a fib. I said I wasn’t going to add any new projects til the fall. Oh, wait, technically, it wasn’t a fib, was it?

We had a fall! I was referring to a season when I said it, but then the shelf in the laundry room fell. So strictly not untrue!

The fall precipitated a new project.

But first, we planted out the shade garden:

Those tags are where I planted BLUE hostas! We were able to find some this weekend. I’m ridiculously happy about it and I’ll be crushed if they don’t grow.

I heard from my sister and she said she thought hostas were always full sun. Then she amended to say they are weeds and thus will grow anywhere! I hope she’s right, at least about my blue ones.

Anyway. The flowers you see are annuals, so they will go away at some point. All around them I planted a variety of seeds. I followed the instructions very carefully, so in 8-21 days we should see a showing of the following:

If you believe I followed the planting directions, you don’t know me. I just cleared the compost and sprinkled each variety in a separate place. I put back the compost, watered the snot out of the whole plot and spread a thin layer of mulch. There is a slim possibility I will go back later in the summer and beef up the mulch.

This morning I painted a door.

Hot tip: Even if you have no desire to DIY (and you know who you are, Cat), I encourage you all to paint a door. It takes a sample pot of paint and 20 minutes. The payoff is worth more than the effort! If you love dark purple but are not ready to step out on the ledge with me, just paint the inside of your laundry room door or closet door. Somewhere only you will see it. I guarantee the next thing you know you’ll be painting the inside of your front door purple!

Back to the door.

This door leads to the garage. It’s in the laundry room, which is (sadly) open to the kitchen. It’s the room otherwise known as “fall” right now.

I scrubbed and sanded this door to get it ready for painting. There are still scuff marks, and dents and whatnot. It’s an ugly door.

Well, it was an ugly door:

This is just the first coat. The plan is to take it off its hinges and take all the hardware off for cleaning. It also needs a new bottom sweep. So while that is all happening, I will get a second coat on it before it gets re-hung. I’ll probably also do the trim around it, some of the baseboards, and the other doorway trim. That is the door plan.

Plans are like budgets in my world.

The rest of the room has moved out of the “I wish” stage and is moving into the materials list and shopping stage. I’m thinking I’ll tear apart the room on Thursday. It’s a 50/50 bet whether the Hubs has the same schedule. I need him to manhandle the appliances into the garage and take the door off for its spa day. He’ll also hang a tarp so the local fauna doesn’t think the toll booth has been removed from the opening.

The rest of the weekend was spent at the beach.


Is that a Mushroom Cloud?


Another Set Back

I was getting ready for my day yesterday when I heard a crash.

Oh what fresh Hell is this?

I went out to the kitchen because I kinda knew what it was. I shouted it was all good so the Hubs would not end his call and come running to witness the mess.

One of my laundry room shelves collapsed.

Instead of taking a pic of it, I just started laughing.

Not the “ha ha that’s funny” kind. The hysterical “this HOUSE!” kind.

On the upside, nothing broke or exploded. Which is a pretty substantial miracle. I had a Rubbermaid container of leftover dining room paint on that shelf. And a glass jar of borax.

See why I was laughing?

But, to the credit of Rubbermaid, the little container did not breach. Its little red plastic cover stayed firmly in place. It was all I could do not to run to Target and buy all they had. This is my new favorite container for everything! Except Borax, because the glass jar I store it in stayed closed and in one piece!



After picking up all the shit that used to be on the shelf and distributing it throughout the rest of the house (hello, guest room), I spent some quality time in my new little nook on my not-favorite rug looking at ideas for micro-laundry-room storage.

I’m thinking a cabinet in the middle with maybe open shelves or cubbies on either side. I told the Hubs I was gonna buy some baskets that all match and have them fit perfectly into the cubbies.

He laughed.

So to get him back, I bought paint today:

No I didn’t really. But I do like this color. And it coordinates with my chosen kitchen color. But the thought of seeing it every time I get home was a little much. So I went with:

Which actually looks good with the pink. I might paint the door pink.

Maybe next week I will begin the process of prepping the laundry room. There’s some mess on the wall from the failed shelf. There’s the other shelf to remove and repair. There’s also a big hole behind the dryer from where we moved the plug. Picture all this going on in a 6×6 room with a washer and dryer still in residence. And the door into the garage.

Maybe not next week.

While I was feeling good about my house last week, we made pizza:

The crust left a little to be desired, but the sauce was flavorful and the toppings yummy. We’ll try it again sometime this week and see what happens. But I’m pretty sure I’m gonna need a new crust recipe.

Also going well:

I think they enjoyed the 3″ of rain they got over the last 2 days!

I’m planning a shade garden in the back yard, I picked up some edging, some mulch and a couple of hostas today. I wanted blue ones:

but I couldn’t find them. 😦 I ended up with generic ones.

Over time I’ll find more varieties and throw them in. Think:

Meanwhile, I still need lots of plants for the front. I’m envisioning something like this:

Only instead of a hedge in the back, it will be the garage. And the colors will be purple, yellow and pink.