Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More than I bargained for

If I could meet the inventor of wallpaper glue, I would wrap my hands around his throat and squeeze.......HARD.  When I started this project I thought it would take less than a day to get the wallpaper off and prep the wall and then another part of a day to paint.  Yeah, what a moron! 

It's almost the end of day 2 and there is still some wallpaper on the wall.  It was even hard to get the top part off, let alone the glued part.  You know how it feels when you grab a corner, pull, and a huge big strip comes off all at once.  Well, that did not happen ONE TIME.   Not one time!  It's coming off in little crappy pieces. 

I did take a break this afternoon because I wanted to try the test pot of paint I got to test the color.  I did one corner so I can put the China cabinet in place tomorrow.  I love the color.  This is just one coat

It's perfect!  Tomorrow I hope to have the rest of the paper removed.   I learned that wallpaper is not only a (b-word) to get off, it also hides a multitude of sins.  I found a couple of holes but I expertly filled them with filler.  I felt so handy! 

In other house news, I had a nice surprise this morning.  My Mom's cousin, the plumber arrived with a brand new submersible sump pump and installed it.  And while he was here he noticed my washer hose which I had "fixed" with wire and duct tape.  After he stopped laughing, he fixed that too.  

Ok, enough rest time, I think I have another hour of peeling left in me 

Monday, December 29, 2014

The fog is lifting

I think I'm coming out of my fog.  The weeks leading up to Christmas were terrible.  As you may recall, that's about the time Mom entered Palliative Care last year.  It really affected me in a way I was not expecting.  To be honest, I was in a pretty bad state for awhile.  And of course I didn't really tell anyone how bad it was.  (Ironically a trait I picked up from my mother)

However, I woke up a couple of days ago and just felt better.   The pressure of the holidays and all that forced cheer was gone.  After spending a couple of days with auntie, I came back to my house and started looking around.  Even though I've been here for months, it still just feels like a house, not my home.  So I put on my thinking cap and then I tore this place apart.  I've moved furniture from room to room and changed things all about.  

It's still in chaos, but now I have a plan!  I ordered a new dining room set and my double living room will "soon" be a living room/dining room combo.  It was supposed to be delivered today but apparently I wasn't in the order today but they did promise it for Wednesday.  But since I had already emptied out that room I felt extra ambitious today. I picked a paint color, bought a sample can to test and started this......

The only thing worse than stripping wallpaper is this mint green paint underneath it.   Yuck!  But let me tell you, this was some quality wallpaper because it is not coming off without a fight.  Holy cow it is on there good.  It was oddly therapeutic however.   It felt good to start making a home of my own 

Doesn't seem like much progress but it was not easy.  I thought I'd show you the mess before what eventually will be a nice dining area.  I know, it's hard to imagine from this picture :). 

Time to take a break and reward myself with a little treat.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and my apologies for not blog hopping much lately.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Eve's Eve

Well, it's almost here. I blinked and it was Christmas Eve Eve.  I didn't get to take vacation the week before - I worked right up to last night, so that didn't help me.  I was scrambling the past few days.  I made one last trip to the store an hour ago and whatever isn't done isn't going to happen.   Tomorrow is just 3 quick deliveries and then I will go to aunties for a few days. 

This afternoon I was trying to tidy up the house and wondering what I would have for supper and I opened a junk drawer and found this

I found this Chinese food gift certificate.  Note the expiration date.......December 23rd.  If I had found this tomorrow I would have been soooooo annoyed.  So supper was taken care of

In case I don't get to post tomorrow I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I've miscalculated

Yup, I'm in trouble.  I have been operating under the assumption that I have this weekend AND next weekend to get ready.   And about 10:30am this morning I looked closely at the calendar and immediately broke out into a cold sweat.....


Perhaps I need an Advent Calendar to keep me on track

Or better yet, one like this (to help me forget the date)

I walked around a store tonight like one of those zombie shoppers you see and immediately feel sorry for.   I'm one of them now. 

The next few days will NOT be pretty 

Sunday, December 14, 2014


I got caught up in the "overwhelmingness" of the holidays lately.  It was a hard week.  But I spent a quiet weekend at home to regroup and get my bearings.  I feel better today.  

Now, I can't decide which "little white lie" to tell you about this picture.....

Is it my new table cloth??  Hmmmm, NO.   Is it my grown up blanket fort??  (Maybe....LOL)

Actually it's the only place I can dry my duvet.  Miss Millie (aka bad dog) had another "accident" yesterday morning.  Grrrrr.    After I washed this giant thing I discovered it won't fit in the dryer.  So my dining table is now a fort.   When I look at that photo I realize I REALLY need to get curtains for those windows!!  Maybe I'll make that my New Years Resolution ;)

So, a quick trip to the pet store and we now have a good supply of puppy pee pads.

And naturally, since I was all prepared, Millie didn't need the pads this morning.  Geez, what a dog!

In other news, my new Christmas Cactus is a recent amputee.  I found this on the floor beside it this morning 

See.....I told you my plants would rather self-harm than let me slowly torture them to death! 

I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon with Santa.  I'm working on the latest Pattern of the Month from Deanne Fitzpatrick.   This one is so cute.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Another learning curve

Home ownership certainly has a learning curve.  I'm learning stuff all the time.  Last nights lesson - sump pumps. 

We got 2 days of heavy rains from yet another Nor'easter.  I came home last night and immediately heard a scary noise.  It sounded like the furnace was dying!  I panicked and raced to the basement.  I discovered the sump pump was making the noise.  But it was kicking in every 20 or 30 seconds.   

Now I have a basic understanding of what a sump pump is supposed to do but I've never seen one in action.  I didn't think it should be going on and off every minute.  I was scared it was dying and would burn out. But I stood there and watched it for a few minutes.  As soon as it would come on and drain the basin, it would immediately fill up again.   But it seemed to be doing what it was supposed to.   There was no water on the floor.   I did Google "why is my sump pump coming on so often".  There were lots of postings on the topic so I didn't feel so stupid.   I even considered calling someone but again, didn't want to sound stupid.  (I like to think I'm Wonder Woman you know!). It ran most of the evening and through the night.   I can't even imagine what would have happened if I didn't have one.  I'd have had a swimming pool in my basement by the time the torrential rains stopped this morning.  

The other night I dug out a rug I started about 2 years ago.  The only part unhooked was her hair.   I don't know why I didn't finish it before.  I hooked her hair in and decided she deserved a nice finish.  I always like the look of a whipped edge.  After I started whipping I remembered I loved the look but hated the actual doing of the whipping.  But I powered through and now she is hanging in my living room. 

"Angel Hanging Stars" is a Christine Little pattern (Encompassing Designs).  19x34

I love her

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How my day started...

It's never good when your morning starts out bad, right from the very beginning.  Someone is in trouble.....

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree

I was starting to get nagged so today was the day I put up Aunties Christmas tree.  Well, I guess it's mine too as I will be spending a few days at christmas with her.  And as an extra treat, all the lights worked!  

And since this year my decorations are fairly low key, here's the Christmas tree I put up in my house this year.....

Lol.  Funny, but true.   I bet mine gets put away faster than hers this year!   So now it's starting to feel more like Christmas.  Trees are up and I'm watching my favorite classic Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life"

I've watched it at least once a year for as long as I can remember and I still tear up at the closing scene when the bell rings and Clarence gets his wings.  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

And then there was three

Saturday morning I went out for coffee with friends.  I sat down and someone said "close your eyes and open your hand".   Now I don't know about you but isn't that kind of scary?  As I did it I said "ooh, it's not something that crawls is it?"   Lol.  I was pretty sure she didn't have a live spider in her bag, but one can never be too sure!  

It was another vintage egg coddler.  

Eeeeeeeee!  Now it's officially a collection!  I now have 3, in 2 different sizes.

"S" never ceases to amaze me.  She can find anything.  You tell her what you need/want and before you know it, she has ferreted it out.  She was at an auction and some stranger bought a box of kniknaks and she spied the coddler in the box and convinced the lady to part with it.    

Love my new coddler and love my shopping savant!  

This was a busy weekend. Lots of running here and there and doing errands for auntie.  Thus, not much progress on my rug.   So far I don't have to work any evenings this week so maybe I will get it finished.  

****** I don't know why this last picture is so huge. Can't seem to change the image resolution on the blogger app anymore.  Grrrr.  Sorry! 

UPDATE:  fixed the picture!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I wasn't designed for winter.  I think I should be somewhere tropical, with sunshine and lollipops and rainbows.  Instead I'm in Frozenland.  

We didn't get as much snow as some but it was followed by rain and then naturally it froze.  This morning was like trying to shovel bricks.  I shoveled for awhile and then I got fed up.  The snow plow had filled in the end of my driveway like a wall of concrete.  I was annoyed and tired so I just jumped in the car, floored the gas petal and plowed through.  I almost got fetched up on the edge but I made it.  Getting back in at noon was more of a challenge.  I shoveled again - Round 2.  

Then after supper the friggin sidewalk plow went by and yes, you guessed it......filled in the end AGAIN!
I shoveled again - Round 3.   I figured it was good enough that I could charge through it again.   After round 3, I decided I needed a few treats so I went to the store.  And when I got home saw the MOST BEAUTIFUL SIGHT EVER

One of my neighbors was clearing out the ice in front of the driveway with a small tractor.  Yay!!  I can drive straight out now.  I was so happy I could have kissed him.  (I didn't, just in case you're wondering)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ready or not....

Here it comes!!  Our first significant snowfall.  It's been snowing for a bit and right now the ground is just covered.  If it was to stop NOW I might even say it's pretty.  But it's those little small flakes and we all know what that means!!  

The hat, scarf and mittens are ready.  The new shovel is at the door awaiting its duty tomorrow.  My new L.L. Bean winter boots are ready for their first outing.  

I backed the car into the driveway so it will be easy to drive straight out. And then after about an hour of snow I worried that I had backed it in too far.  I debated with myself for awhile and then I went out and pulled it up closer to the road.  But not too close that the sidewalk plow would pack in the front.   But close enough that I wouldn't have to shovel for 30 feet! 

Ahhh Winter, how I hate thee 

Instead of looking out the window and stressing I'm hooking a little Karen Kahle feather tree pattern.

Only 6 months until I have to mow the lawn again :(

On a happier note, Happy Thanksgiving to all my American family and friends! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Boy oh boy, that sweet Julia should be called Speedy Gonzales!  As I was getting ready to leave for work this morning I saw a postal van pull up.  My chicken wire is here!  That was fast

Thank you again Julia.  I forgot tonight was the Dancing With The Stars finale so I won't be playing with the wire tonight but maybe tomorrow night as the storm arrives.  Yes, our first real winter storm of the year. (Please don't be like Buffalo) 

I was also looking around the house the other day and realized I needed some house plants.  But there is that little issue of me being a "notorious plant killer".  It's so bad that sometimes I think they just comment suicide to put themselves out of their misery sooner.  I can hear them...."oh no, here she comes.....quick Die before she tortures us."   Lol

So I mentioned this at noon today when I stopped in to see a friend for a minute. The next thing I know, she hands me this succulent garden.  Apparently they are almost impossible to kill.  Maybe she's doing a test.  Lol.   Thanks Deanne.  I will try to keep it alive 

I finished hooking a little sheep rug.  It's a pattern from The Old Tattered Flag.  My excuse for it not being bound is that there is enough burlap left to hook another small piece.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it ;)

P.S.   DWTS - Go Sadie and Mark

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A few bits and bobs

Another nice relaxing Sunday at home.  I took the opportunity to bring out a few decorations.  I am keeping it sparse this year but want a bit of the holidays here and there.  

I have my beautiful glass bowl filled with ornaments on the coffee table.  I need to find a few gold ones to add to it.   But this is a start 

My pretty door swag is in place.  It was too fat to fit on the outside door, between the door and the storm door.  But I hung it inside so I could enjoy it.  I'm on the search for a wreath for outside 

A little garland on the cupboard and a stocking hung.  (Now I wish I had moved that ugly extension cord before I took the picture......just ignore it)

And a tin Santa perched on top. I think he needs a burlap sack.  Or maybe fill his bucket with candy?  I'll figure it out.   I was searching for the little Christmas tree I bought for Mom's hospital room last night but so far no luck.   Sigh....

Sweet blogger Julia from Of Petals and Wool (http://ofpetalsandwool.blogspot.ca) has come to my rescue and is mailing me some chicken wire.  Blog pals are the best.   I should note I had a few other offers but from outside of Canada.  I didn't want anyone to have to pay crazy international postage rates.  But I appreciate it!!!

I made a really tasty and simple supper in the slow cooker today - cheesy beef and potato casserole.   Here is the recipe link    http://www.simplecleanliving.com/slow-cooker-cheesy-ground-beef-casserole/

I omitted the green peppers (yuck) and added a few shakes of Montreal Steak Spice and sliced mushrooms and sliced carrots.   I'll make this again. 

I want to draw out a new hooking pattern tonight but before I can do that I need to clear off the dining room table.  So basically, I'm not sure of it will happen.  Lol 

As always, thanks for stopping by 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

One of the best parts

There is a lot to like about the holidays but there is one thing that I think is at the top of my list.....

The holiday appetizers are in the stores.  I'm such a sucker for these.  I am filling the freezer with an assortment.  These were the shrimp collection.  I hate to admit the number of evenings in my future where I will have an entire supper of appetizers.  Good thing I bought a jumbo bottle of plum sauce.  

I hit a bit of a snag today with the chicken wire project.  It seems you can't buy small enough quantities for me.  You have to buy a big roll.  So I'm going to ask around.  I am sure somebody must have some in their garage or basement.  I'm not buying enough for a coop when I only need a square.  

It feels like another Polar Vortex this weekend.  It's really cold.  I passed on watching the Christmas Parade tonight. Better plan to stay in and be cozy.  Fluffy socks, slippers and sweatpants!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Just Chillin'

It's cold, wet and windy outside but I'm all cozy inside with some hot cocoa and shortbread cookies.  Our snow has all melted and as an extra treat I woke up this morning and the wind blew all the un-raked leaves away.  They're gone!  Don't know whose yard they landed in and don't care.  

I've been looking at the pictures online of that storm in Buffalo NY.  It's almost unbelievable.  I can't even imagine how horrible it would be.  That is a level of mental distress I would not recover from.  It's bad enough to get that much snow in a season, but in one day..........horrible. 

Thanks for all the suggestions for my cupboard door.  I think I'm going with chicken wire.  Maybe I'll pick it up this weekend.   This way I can see the wool, or hang little ornaments or small do-dads on the wire.  
I was so close to finishing my rug but then I hit a wall.  I always struggle with the colors for the tongues along the border.  And this was no exception.  I got halfway done and then froze.  There is probably about 30 minutes of hooking left........sigh

Looking forward to the weekend.  Almost Friday!! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Slow Sunday

And that is exactly what I did today - just enjoyed a nice leisurely Sunday at home.  I got my cabinet painted.  I pulled it out to the middle of the floor and got started early.  Here is the before photo

And here it is after the first coat of Princeton Gold

And now the second coat of paint is drying.

I can't decide what to do with the door.  I need to cut out that old fabric and replace it with something. Any suggestions??  And don't say a hooked rug because it's too big.  It would take me forever.  I could either find new fabric or............   Come on peeps, you are all smart and creative 

This is the pillow I used to help me pick the color 

I have to work late tomorrow night so I won't move it to its new corner until Tuesday night. Plus the paint will be good and dry by then.  Next job is to fill it with wool and find some decorations for the top.  

More pictures soon.  I also hooked some on my new rug.  I had hoped to finish the hooking part today but it wasn't meant to be.  I'm so close but not going to finish by bedtime.  

I hope you all had a nice slow Sunday too :)