Tag Archives: home


What I need is a new focus or two. One, I think needs to be the finishing up the book projects and others which are midproduction. This includes the memoir, the kitchen book, the current anthology, and websites. The websites need to be purchased, so I suppose that’s the next step.

When I have something to sell, or a link to a website, I’ll post it here.

Otherwise, I’m seriously considering what to do when the memoir comes out. “Taking my emotional clothes off in public” is how I refer to the piece. There are two or three things which have to happen because of this: I need to do a reveal, those of you who know me in person “get” this, but I also need to protect me and mine from trolls and others both on the net and otherwise. Giving people a roadmap into the most tender part of yourself isn’t a recipe for people necessarily treating you well.

So, if you actually know me, in person, and are a friend rather than a professional contact or are both, you may get mail from the fictionalized me in the near future. I can’t contemplate having the memoir out or other projects with it, which may or may not happen, otherwise.

A new or different second focus needs to be home/hearth/health. Because of the abuse I endured, because of its ramifications on me as an adult, I’ve never really let myself focus on my home/hearth. Because of the “I don’t matter” attitude which is under much of everything, even still — I was brainwashed — taking care of myself physically is almost as much of a challenge as taking care of my hearth/home.

A third project is that I need something to DO, something to focus on outside of ME-ME-ME which was necessary for the past several years to deal with the PTSD. Okay, that’s mostly done. Now what?

I have no answers for all of this, just feel like they are directions I need to go. More exercise, working on the kitchen notebook will work on the house food/nurturing, the house clean-up is of course the hardest piece.

Does it sound like I’m REALLY sick of my stupid wounded childhood and how it affects the adult me? If not, I’m a much worse writer than I thought!


Effortless Landscaping and Sources

I forgot, yesterday we also got our first flowering daffs. 😀

The bulb bed is sprouting happily out there. The bulbs on the north side (thought I’d moved them all?) are also sprouting, as are the few still left by the south side of the house (including the ones that are blooming).

Good news is that the bulbs in the bulb yard are definitely spreading. Yay! The idea is to take an entire swathe off the lawn. Less to mow, less to weed, less maintenance. I also have day lily beds. One big one on the south side of the driveway and a smaller line of them on the north side. If enough light gets to them, they just sprout, bloom, and die back for the winter all on their own. They appreciate some fertilizer every year or two, but it isn’t necessary. I have decorative grasses and rugosa roses (in a small hedge) planted at the end of the driveway. Except for trimming the rugosas and fertilizing again, no maintenance. I have Vinca (the ground cover type) on the hill near the driveway.

One of my goals this year  is to buy the first of the no mow lawn plugs. The grasses in this mix only grow 6″ at their full height. No mowing required, ever. (I haven’t ordered them yet, I have to pay for the CSA first.) If I can successfully replace the lawns, then I will NOT need a mower at all. TOTAL WIN! No machine, no gas, no gardener, no time to maintain it. Yes, I imagine the grasses need fertilizing, especially as what’s under our lawn is sand and sand and sand — another reason I’m not just ripping it all out and replacing it. The soil that’s there is under the grass.

When we got this place 20+ years ago, if you took a shovel of dirt out of the lawn, it looked like a vanilla cake with chocolate glaze: white (sand) and a little brown on top, like 1/4″ (top soil). For 2 decades I’ve been trying to build top soil. The large quantity of sand that was trucked in for the septic and to build up the lot is one of the big reasons I can’t produce enough compost for our needs: the nutrients just trickle out through the sand.

So, to replace the lawn I do NOT want to scrape up the current grass and the attendant top soil! I want to mulch the current grass and plant the new stuff on top, or intersperse the new into the old plants and weed out the old plants as the new stuff spreads. Yes, this will take longer, but I won’t lose 20 years of top soil with it.

I want to plant blue-eyed grass and more wild violets on the north side of the house and let them naturalize too. Again, no maintenance required. Both are naturally occurring wildflowers here, but they don’t show up in enough quantity to cover the area I’d like them to or to choke out the grass. That’s another order too.

No mow grass seed is available here. I thought they sold plugs of this stuff. Oh well!


Blue-Eyed Grass Seed/Plants


Wild Violet



I’ve Been Looking for Tools

Along that line, I joined polyvore.com which is a site that lets you pick/choose things and put them in groups.

Okay. I’ve been trying to justify/align/? all of the differing colorways I like. I love certain bright blues/greens/teals, like the rugs, but I also am really fond of Chinese red or black accents and bright colors, as well as creamy sage, light yellow, pale blue — sort of pastel mint colors. The scheme I’ve come up with is to use multiple whites, creams, etc. — pale neutrals and then mix the others in and out as I want.  Polyvore did help me see that I could do that.

Polyvore.com seemed like the perfect answer for me, as I’m not visual. Except this is one of those weeks where things don’t seem to work. I had a bust of a week at work, nothing seemed to go well, fought with the wordpress software, and now, 15 days after I joined polyvore, the piece I’d spent an hour or more making a few days ago is gone — and I can’t seem to find the pieces I used to make it either.


 I think I’ll just stay home and quietly work on house projects. I have some things I have to do for work. Beyond that? I’ll just keep working on my planned future home, vegetable garden and the memoir. Putter. That’s what I’m going to do, putter. It may be the only thing I can do really well right now!

House Thoughts — What’s new?

Last month we had big changes: a new roof, DH had a major deadline, so did I AND we put the cat we’d had for nearly 20 years to sleep.

This month is shaping up to be almost as remarkable! I seem to have acquired a job, or two — which will make life  intersting!

We found a “sample” of a fancy door at a mill yard. It’s a door that’s no longer made, so we got it for dead cheap. Our sills are deeper than a normal frame house, just to start with. The issues have gone on from there. We bought new locks, hardware, a sill kit, templates, etc.

As usual, the house had some surprises for us. When the side trim was removed, the electrical feed for that side of the house and the exterior light was a mess. Completely scarey! (You could see solder. You shouldn’t be able to see solder!)

That got fixed almost immediately. This weekend is the new door installation, we hope. It’s getting cold here in the Northeast! Not having a functional front door is not really optional.

In the past two years we’ve replaced the sills, the main roof, and now the front door. Windows next? I’d like to finish the unfinished floor, but that requires ventilation and winter again isn’t the best time for those types of projects.

We’re also getting a new entry cover at some point soon . Not sure exactly when. It will be delivered and installed when the fellow finishes it.

Next? Windows maybe or the punch list for the kitchen teardown and redo. I really, really want to take down that impractical 30 square foot kitchen counter of mine! We need to move plumbing and get some electrical work done and we’re not sure we can afford to do it all at once — it depends on how much the electrician and plumber are going to be.?

My idea is that we hire our friend the contractor to write us up a punch list, a plan, so we know what has to happen, in what order. Then, if we have to stretch out the job we’ll know exactly what has to happen next instead of being stalled and having no clue!

I have stuff to go clean and carrots to dig.

Stay warm!


Painted Stairs (sort of)

A few years ago we removed the uncleanable beige carpet from the stairs. The oak treads weren’t so bad, but the stair fronts weren’t good, so we painted them an almost federal blue.

Years went by. The blue stair fronts got dirty. And have for some time been so dirty they were uncleanable. I hit upon the idea of painting them in such a way that it would disguise the dirt. Then agonized:

What if we hated it?

After a bit I realized that was just silly. If we hated it, well, I’d paint them again!

So, I painted the stair fronts yesterday. I took pictures, none of which came out very well, while I was doing it. Then my camera seemed to quit working. I have some touch ups to do, but they’re mostly done. The treads need to be stained and will be, if we decide we like this, permanently. If not? Well, like I said, I’ll paint it out!

When I can get my camera to cooperate (when DH can) I’ll post pics. (The image shown is before the stair fronts were waxed. The colors are deeper and shiny now.)


painted stair front

Plan B or 2.0 or ?

I intended to go to the town celebration 5 miles from here today. They have a white elephant sale, rummage sale, book stall, etc. It’s usuallly a lot of fun and I look forward to it all year.

I didn’t go.

Yesterday my knee started acting up a little again. It’s been pain free for most of a week, a  blessing after FOUR MONTHS of continual pain. There’s not a single thing we need badly enough, whether I could make a lot of money reselling it,or not, that’s worth another four months of pain.

Also, it was pouring when I needed to leave — so I would have been in pain and probably soaking wet too. For stuff? No thanks!

I made a quiche and cobbler for brunch. We sat down and ate, a rarity for Monday. The kitchen is mostly clean, the table has been cleared, and I’m off to go start another load of laundry. Mundane chores, but satisfying.

Let’s have a stupendous month!


Moving Right Along — Another Target Section!

Getting ready for the appraiser (today) has accelerated this process a lot. DH and I have decided we’re going to “forget” that the guy was here today, and tell ourselves he’ll be here NEXT week, to see if we can’t keep the momentum going.

I called to ask another neighbor’s daughter if she wanted to earn some summer money by helping me clean the house? I don’t know the answer,  yet. Her dad woke her up to talk to me, so I told her to call me back when she really woke up. As much as I HATE being woken up, if I were me? I’d probably say no. Oh well, I’ll have to find another rent-a-kid in that case.

Here’s the new target:

2013 target smaller Jun 25