Simple Musings

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Another one bites the dust.......

Bang! bang, bang! A heart-rending howl........silence. I poke my head around the corner just in time to see a "dead" puddle of poodle and Gramps with a smoking finger still pointed. I guess one could say that this is their newest form of entertainment. Gracie loves doggie treats (duh) and Gramps loves to feed them to her. Don't get me wrong, she has to work for them. But she is a hambone and it all works out pretty well. Sometimes, if she is really in need, she will just howl and flop over without the wasting of any ammo. Sometimes one needs a "repeater".

Since DD#2 moved away, Gramps is (under her directions) taking care of Graice to the best of his ability. He is the first one to let us know if she doesn't show up for breakfast or if she seems a bit "off". When I dole out his nightly meds, he makes sure that she gets hers, too. Then he informs her that he is going to bed so she can get up, sidle over and "talk" to him. She makes growly noises and he pats her on the head and off he goes, another day finished.

I guess, basically, their needs are about the same. Companionship, a bit of food, and a warm place to sleep. Of course, it is our job to provide all of these things. I hope we are doing ok........

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gotter done

We called our favorite carpenter and he came within a few days. That is definately worth writing home about! He and 2 helpers cheerfully worked for 3 1/2 days making our house seem more like our home. It seems that they were always running, not walking.

Our carpenter is from Hondurus and his helpers are from Mexico. So you can imagine all of the chatter, lol. Since I don't understand Spanish I can only hope that they were staying "work related " ! I found out very quickly that men are men and women, well, let's just stick with men are men. Not that I had to walk 10 paces behind, but everything had to be approved for them by hubby dear. The funny part is that I am a designer (sabbatical) and planned everything out and honestly know a lot more about this type of thing. Heck, hubby is totally comfortable sitting on a bulldozer and leaving it to me. I think I saw some faintly elevated eyebrows when I whipped out the checkbook, but they were smart enough to graciously accept!

The last few days have been trying, to say the least. We have lost the use of one of our bathrooms until the flooring is down in order to set the toilet back in place. This is always interesting since we have Gramps and he is more than a bit unpredictable (or accurate, for that matter). But we have to wait another week for this. Gracie the poodle is just worn out from guarding the castle. I am hoarse from telling her to get up on the couch and shutup! Thankfully she is passed out asleep now. Hubby is just plain tired from "go-fering"!

Now I remember how dirty construction can be. I will have to dust down the ceiling, walls, all flat surfaces, well let's just say everything and call it good. Drywall dust is everywhere but I think most of it is under my eyelids! And no, I don't need to have my roots done, thanks, that is just dust.........

So next week, I will have to get it all clean so that I can begin painting. This should make a really good winter project and I certainly can foresee it taking that long, too.

Of course it has cost about twice what we had planned, but still it is worth the pain to have a new pantry and guest bath (these were both frugally fashioned out of a utility room that already had a sink and toilet). All we needed was a wall to conquer and divide and a few door units. Poor Gramps. He knew that the new small bathroom was for him, but he thought that the pantry was his new bedroom! I assured him that he wasn't a vegetable yet. (just kidding)

Remodeling certainly is a good opportunity for decluttering. In fact, it is mandatory. I certainly don't want all of that crap in my new surroundings! I don't really feel bad about getting rid of stuff, after all, it is really old, and so dusty........

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Is late really better than never?

It has really been awhile.........hmmmm....... what has been going on?

I have been dealing with a lot of "stuff". I really wanted to use a stronger word, but don't need to get into the habit. My daughter got married and moved half a continent away. My other one lives half a continent away in the other direction. This is all pretty new and more disturbing than I thought it would be. But, looking on the bright side, at least we have somewhere to vacation!

My mother even moved a couple of hours away. I am beginning to get a complex.

Also on the home front: As of tommorrow we will finally start remodeling our house. Exciting, but disruptive. Nothing big, really. Changing a bathroom door so that Gramps will have his own space and stay out of ours! Now that sounds really ugly, but old men can do really ugly stuff. Enough said about that. And I am getting an honest-to-goodness pantry! Stuff dreams are made of, right? And we will have a door installed from the main bath directly into our bedroom. Ahhh privacy............. I get new tile countertops and vinyl in the kitchen, too. A new "fancy" front door and storm door. How much can one person enjoy?

In a few weeks we will trek to the coast with our daughter's furniture and others valuable stuff. Hmm.... seem to need a new word to replace "stuff". Brother will stay with Gramps for the duration. This will be an eye-opening experience for him, lol. Well, for both of them.

Enough for now. I need to go plot my new pantry space...........

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Making a house a home

I have lived in 25 houses in my lifetime and that doesn't count traipsing around the country with a travel trailer in tow. That comes up to a move about every 2 years. Of course, it didn't happen quite that way, but close.

My body and soul are just plain tired. It is time to settle down and call it quits. So what exactly makes a house a home? Maybe I just don't know because I have never stayed in one that long! But it is time to find out.

I have always had this picture in my mind as to what my "dream home" would be like. A quirky cottage with stone floors and arched doors and windows. Flowers everywhere. Hidden paths and a small fish pool.

Well so much for dreams. We have come full circle to a home that my brother and I inherited from my father. So, as long as I can pay the taxes, I have a home. Problem is that this is not the home I had invisioned. Plain brick, bare, brown on a city lot with some questionable neighbors. The inside is definately not something I would have designed. No wait! I did design it. (forgot about that) But it was designed for someone besides me.

Ok, I know I sound whiny and totally ungrateful. Whiny I am, but not ungrateful. I am very grateful. By not having a mortgage, I have the luxury of not working at the present time. I have all of the time in the world to make my house into a home, so why am I not doing it? Maybe I just don't know how to settle down. Or maybe I am afraid that I will decide to pull up roots again. Someone shoot me if I even look at another house with a gleam in my eye!

I also feel like I am in a holding pattern. With Gramps living with us, I don't want to do any big altering to the house. After all, this house was originally built for them even though they never lived in it until Gramps had to come and stay with us because he is now unable to take care of himself without Granny. Also, remodeling costs money. So at this point we have to just wait and do maintenance as needed. It is hard for me to put my stamp on anything until I can change it to suit myself. I will admit that I am spoiled. In a previous life (marriage) my husband was a builder/whatever was needed type of guy, so I could eventually have things remodeled. So now I learn patience. I hope I learn it soon.

Maybe I will go and hang a picture and plump some pillows and try to figure out just why I can't be satisfied.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Baby Stuff

This morning as I sat out on the terrace (ok, so it is a carport, but dreams are cheap) I watched the morning parade of birds as they took turns at the bird bath. We have blue birds, robins, blue jays, mocking birds, blackbirds, red finches, a pair of doves and a lone woodpecker. I noticed that a robin was hopping around and onto low perches not far from the ground. I figured out why when I saw the baby bird under a bush not far away. Mama was trying desperately to get it to fly out of harm's way. The wee baby had no tail feathers so I estimated that is was quite young, and sure enough, it could only get a few inches from the ground. I suppose it will become a delectable meal for the neighbor's cat. I know that this is the natural order of things, but babies are so sweet, innocent and helpless. Teary situation.

Our other babies are coming along quite well, though. The little garden that could! I get totally mushy when discussing my small tomatoes, teeny cucumbers and mini squash. I admit it. There is definately something about producing something with one's own hands that brings out those maternal feelings. We talk to them, caress them...........oh well, this is starting to get out of hand........Did I mention the itty-bitty watermelon?

I was able to pull enough carrots for supper tonight. Other than using dill for potato salad, this will be our first garden meal. Maybe I will use the good china and light some candles?

My moss rose began to bloom a couple of days ago. I have been nursing those babies for 2 months now. They are slow to start, but so worth it. They will liven up the front porch until frost gets them. My kind of flower.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Coloring inside the lines

I have always had a tendency to want to categorize life into small neat packages tied up securely with a bow. All things seperate and accounted for. All things organized.

I have even tried to compartmentalize feelings. Time to be happy or sad. Angry or calm. I suppose this is so I can know what to expect and plan a reaction. Be just the right amount of angry and no more. Spend a bit of time experiencing sadness and get on with it.

The flaw in this type of thinking is, of course, that we simply cannot always control our lives. Planning such things is setting myself up for a big fall. Also, this approach takes the life out of things. When operating in this manner, I don't feel the full effect of happenings and emotions, good or bad. Sometimes it can be very hard to "allow" things to just happen. What happens if I don't get that fairy tale ending? Ah, that place called Fantasy Land!

Real life is just plain messy sometimes. Maybe we don't like it, but we have to deal with it. We get sick, broke, lonely, frustrated, disallusioned. That is just the way it is. The lines get blurred no matter how hard we try to hold steady. Nor will we always get to finish the page before we have to quit.

I have been guilty of saying, "I will do this or that." "I will be so and so." These things simply may not be in my life's blueprint. Sometimes there is really no way of knowing this until I have tried and succeeded or failed. A life lesson. And I will never stop learning whether I want to or not. Life just keeps throwing the book at me!

Even when life is going along smoothly, I have to remember that everything fits together to make the whole picture. I don't just "eat". I plan a meal, shop, prepare, eat, clean up, feel well or not. I can't just clean the house. I have to figure in the fact that other live here and have their own space and that it should be treated with respect. Dirt need to be kept to a healthy level. Things need to have organization so that they will be easy to find. Furniture and other objects need to be placed with care to give us more peace of mind. Life evolves and revolves.

So, what to do? Good question. Taking one day at a time is an obvious answer since it has been said over and over. That is easier said than done. The Buddhists practice "being in the moment". This is a great exercise that actually does work when I can push aside all of my jumbled thoughts. Breathe in.....breathe out....... Really simple. Well, not exactly, but worth doing.

So, how do I satisfy my "stay inside the lines" fetish? Maybe I should just get a coloring book!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I have a secret. I just love to hang out clothes. I even get anal about having all of the socks together, the tee shirts together, and everything even. I dill-dally around and take as long as I can. (honestly, I have been known to wash clothes just so I could hang something out!)

I stop and look up at the sky for a while. I listen to and watch the birds. I glance over at the garden (and smile). I come up with some really great ideas while pinning underwear to the line. Something very basic about that, I think. I notice things that need to be done outside the house (and inform the person in charge. :-)

Puppykins always helps me, too. It is ever so helpful to take time out to find her and keep her where I can see her. This is her favorite squirrel chasing time. Did you know that squirrels can laugh? Hah, you can't catch me, don't think you can! I would not have known this if it weren't for hanging out clothes.

I catch up on the neighborhood news while I am shaking out towels to add to the line. Honestly, I didn't know that.......really???. (I'm not one for spreading gossip, so you'd better listen close the first time........)

One request: When I die, please dress me in clothes just off the line. I don't really care what it is as long as it is springtime fresh.