February 28, 2017

It's Okay Tuesday

It's Okay Tuesday! Yeah! Airing My Laundry, One Post At A Time discovered the idea in Glamour magazine.

Sometimes I play along, sometimes Tuesday's are so Okay that I don't have time to blog, and sometimes, I can't find anything that's Okay enough to write about.

This Tuesday is definitely an Okay Tuesday.

It's Okay that my lower back and knees are screaming in protest of the ups and downs and bends and twists that come along with painting two floor-to-ceiling fireplaces. Just the primer adds so much more light to the rooms.

It's Okay that there is still the actual paint to apply because I know it is going to be beautiful.

It's Okay that I have taken a sabbatical from news for a few weeks. Just two days and I feel so much better. I will get back into the fray, I'm firmly in the 'Yet, She Persisted' mind-set but my soul, my heart and my peace of mind just needed a little break...and that is OKAY!

It's Soooo Okay that gorgeous white roses Frank gave me on Valentines Day are still gloriously beautiful.

It's Okay that I miss our book club so bad I could cry.

It's Okay that my furniture in two rooms is pushed into corners and covered with plastic. Thick paint on fluffy rollers tends to splatter!

It's Okay that I have to end this post, push up my sleeves and soldier on with the painting. C'mon, back and shoulders, man up!

February 25, 2017

Painting Brick

Buy the supplies, scrub the brick, scrub it again. Sweep all the dust and bits of grout off the floor.

Struggle between spouses about color. I mean, how many shades of white can there be? Frank wants warm white. I want cool white. He has about 4 ounces of fat on his body so wants warm colors in the house.

On the other hand, I want cool colors because our living and family rooms have large south and west facing windows and we live in Redding where a 98 degree day can be a 'cooling trend'!

We found a middle of the road ivory.

On to the painting. I'm not working, so I am going to paint. We discuss how to proceed and decide to use a 4 inch brush for the rough bricks and a 1 inch brush for getting into the grout. Two days of painting...two frickin' days and I only have one side "sort of" done. My shoulder also feels like it is going to explode.

During a much needed break, I decided to look up 'how to paint a brick fireplace' on You-Tube and discovered two things. Painting a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace, one should use a big 3/4" fluffy roller and that my skinny husband and I are stupid! Really stupid.

God bless You-tube. I will never do another DIY project without a thorough perusal of You-Tube.

Off to town to pick up a roller and a bottle of Merlot.

p.s. just the white of the masonry primer already makes the room so much lighter!

Also got a tall beautiful redwood tree to take the place of Big Ugly. Can't wait to plant it!

February 21, 2017

Is That The Sun?

Not a minute too soon. I thought I would lose my mind! Sunshine! (as John Denver sings in my mind..."on my shoulders makes me happy!)

The river is on it's way down at the folk's house, though the forecast is to rise again in a day or so. Apparently we are playing a weird game of River Yo-yo.  Dad thinks it's amusing but Mom isn't quite as enthusiastic. She can't swim, so was very anxious about buying a home so close to a river. That was 40 years ago.

"What if I fall in?" she asked my dad.

"Don't worry about it," answered Dad, "It will probably just come up and get you!"

This is one of those Tuesdays when I am breaking all records on accomplishing chores on my To-Do list. Two things left for today:

Prepare Bricks For Paint

Along with de-cluttering, we are also repainting all the interior of the house. We have surrounded ourselves with bright colors and murals. We've loved them and our grandchildren loved them but we are really looking forward to creating a neutral zone.

It's hard to just sit and veg-out when everywhere you look there is something to look at! Does that make sense?

So, in the middle of caring for aging parents, physical therapy for torn rotator cuff, back fence blown down and extremely damaged pergola, we are going to paint. Please do not make any 'head-examined' comments, we've heard them all!

I thought I might post some of the Before shots and then, as we ponder, purge, and paint, we can share the progress. 

Living Room

Two walls are this melon color. Was nice for awhile but we are painting the walls, including the mural above a very light grey. The long, high wall will remain white, as will the trim. The books in the case are double thick, so will be purging, purging, purging. Anyone want some books?

Family Room
Our family room has turquoise walls, though I don't think it shows up well in this photo. These walls, too, will be painted the same light grey as the living room. The book case is out-of-here if I can talk Frank into it and so are the books (except the gardening, astronomy and meteorology tomes, he does get to keep somethings!)

Ugly Bricks
The fireplace is double sided, in both the living room and family room. We are painting this monstrosity a soft white, grout and all. I can't wait!!!

Grandchildren's Initials
The mural on the side wall reads, "And He made the stars." We decided to put our grandchildren's initials up with some stars so they knew that we felt that they were some of the stars! They are all getting pretty old, so I don't think they'll even notice the letters, stars and hearts missing. This wall stretches across through to the living room and will be painted the same soft white as the bricks.

(Don't tell Frank, but I think that clock might get lost or misplaced during the painting...shhhh!)

Blowing In The Wind
When I was drawing this tree out on a sheet of paper, the tree was originally a deep green. My granddaughter, Alaina, who was about 8 or 9 at the time, saw it and said, "Oh, Nana. There are enough green trees in the world already. That one should be purple!"

And, so it is! Alas, time to say goodbye to the tree and the leaves. Pretty sure this wall will be white and I will fill it with family photos which are taking up much of the surface space on tables, piano, shelves, etc.

I've decided to keep the Tardis door to my studio. Two of my granddaughters helped me paint it and I love the line, "It's much bigger on the inside than the outside!" from Dr. Who.

Dang, I spent so much time on this post, I'm short on time to prepare bricks...looks like we'll have to order pizza for dinner!

February 18, 2017

Too Good Not To Share

Just heard the rain that is flooding the state of California is fake! Though, the leaks from the clouds are real! "...very extremely bad..."

February 17, 2017





Calling 'uncle' just doesn't work like it did when we were kids. In the old days calling out 'uncle' was short for:

 "Okay you win, you stupid bully, now please stop ________ or give me back my ______!"

There have been plenty of bullies in my life, though I have to admit I have not been the victim of these bullies as much as just witnessed them bully others. Bullies who have said nasty things, done nasty things or are just plain nasty but there is nothing that has kicked-ass more than just plain LIFE! 

Now, don't give me the whole 'life is a blessing' lecture. I see that, I know that, I believe that, but it is also one hell of a hurdle. Today is one of those days I just want to scream 'UNCLE' and climb back under the covers, with a quart of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia, and quit the 'good fight'!

These blankets need to cover several hectares (or more). I'm not the only one I want to bring under the covers with me.

I want my mom and dad under the covers with me.

My dad is an awesome man, with qualities and values extraordinaire. Life is dealing him a major blow. He was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's. You can see his pain and agony as his robust and self-reliant body slowly turns against him. He's tired and he says 'he's done.'

Mom, at 88, is afraid. Afraid for my dad, afraid for her, probably afraid for her children (because heaven knows what we three 'kids' (in our '60's) might do wrong if she is not here to warn us)! Her body is frail; losing weight every day; her spirit is overwhelmed with anxiety yet her tenacity to be in control is stronger than ever, only adding to her anxiety!

They are both precious. I feel blessed for every day I have with them.

It would be nice if my husband and sister came and took a little respite, too, though they will have to bring their own ice cream (or choice of self-medicating method). They are both very involved with caring for our folks and, probably, just as raw.

There is a dear friend from high school who's famly, after two years of extreme trials and tribulations, have just discovered one of the daughters is ill. I want to make room for them under the covers. (I love you and am thinking of you and your family everyday.)

Then there are the immigrants in our country, whose only sin is wanting a better life for them and their families. Move over, let them in and give them a spoon. Ben & Jerry's for everyone while we take a couple of days off from the weight of it all.

Looks like the blanket just grew.

Part of me, maybe the nicer fraction of me, wants to invite those people who voted for fascism, lies, and hate, and are discovering how wrong they were. Frankly, I don't want you under our blanket. I think you need to witness the consequences of your blind ignorance. (Yeah, I said that!)

Remember the old phrase, "Stop the World, I want to get off"?

Can we just get off for a day or two, gather our strength and come back strong?


Do we need to be raw to persist?

Photo courtesy of http://www.teeturtle.com/products/nevertheless-she-persisted

In all reality, this should say, "NEVERTHELESS, THEY PERSISTED"

February 11, 2017

The River Comes Knocking

My folks have a home  and a acre of property on the bank of the Sacramento River. They've lived there for over 40 years.

Typically, we have to walk out to the gate at the back of the property to see the river because the bank is pretty steep. The river also runs at the foot of their back rather than across the little valley.

Sometimes they have a little beach we can walk down to. There are a couple of large boulders that those in the family that like to fish can cast a line from.

One can catch salmon, steelhead, trout and bass. Swimming is not a good idea because of the rapids and the water temperature. It is usually between 52 and 56 degrees.

Several times over the years, the water could be seen from the house.  Visitors will exclaim, "Hey, I can see the river, cool!"

 Then there has been a time or two when it has crept into the yard. One year it actually rose in the middle of the night right up to the edge of the patio.  Now that was a scary day but it has a funny (now) story to go with it.

Knowing they lived close to the river and the hundred year level is even with their roof line. they had an evacuation plan...just in case!

The morning that my dad looked out their bedroom window and loudly told Mom that the river was lapping at the patio, Mom jumped out of bed, grabbed a suitcase from the closet and threw it on the bed. She rushed to the chest of drawers, pulling a bra out of her drawer, she tossed it into the suitcase. Then she dumped about ten pairs of Dad's socks in, locked up the suitcase and started running down the hall.

No panic there!

They watched their winter supply of firewood float down river. A man and his son canoed through the folks yard that day, too. 

We've had a drought here and haven't seen the far side of the river from the house in years....years!

Thursday morning that sneaky river was creeping under the garden gate. It was about 4" over flood stage. Mom had a bag packed and this time it included more than a single bra and tens pairs of sweatsocks!

Once the day got light, the water had fallen back right to just level with the edge of the bank. Nice to read online that the river has crested but still pretty damn scary to see it lapping at the ivy.

Yesterday, Dad and I walked down to the gate. The water is definitely going down but it is rushing  fast and full of trees, debris and, from what we heard, a tool shed or two!

Pretty handsome for an 88 year old guy, don't you think!!!

The forecast was for at least three days of sunshine and the river to level out about 4 feet from flood level so Mom sent me home (though she is keeping their bag packed).

In spite of the threat of flooding and the unholy amount of rain, I had a really good time hanging out with the folks.  We discovered some old pictures that my children drew for Mom and Dad when the kids were really little. We shredded about 16 years worth of paperwork, rearranged some furniture and laughed and reminisced.

February 03, 2017

Oh, Kellyanne

Oh, Ms. Conway. When you reminded us about the Bowling Green Massacre and the dozens of terrorists, we attacked you. We called you a liar.

I am so ashamed of us. Sorry! We will surely check out facts next time you move your lips. We don't want to accuse you of sharing 'alternative facts' unnecessarily.

When do you think Homeland Security and the ATF will raid Ohio State? They are clearly a terrorist organization.