Thursday, December 27, 2012

A dusting........

Well maybe more than a dusting.  This morning I did not run to the chicken coop in my coffee stained blue leopard print nighty flapping in the breeze.  Nope, it was knee boots, coat, hat, gloves and a shovel.  The winds never happened so we were left with a thick frosty coating.  The yard sure is pretty just before sun up.  

Stepping out side the quiet is heavy.  Not even the birds chirped.  There is nothing like the muffled silence of winter embracing your every step as you move through thick heavy snow.   

The pond still flows and the gurgling under the snow is a nice to hear so early in the morning.

The backyard is apparently the freeway to the woods for the deer.  The fence kept them out of the garden leaving me brussel sprouts and chard.

The chickens love their heat lamp a bit too much.  Finding I need to unplug it in the morning or they won't leave the coop for food or water.  I knew the girls had an aversion to rain but this snow stuff completely unglued them!  When I opened the coop this morning there was big complaining in the coop.  I released the door and Batina stood on the top step looking out then backed her way off the ramp and back into the coop.  The next girl peeked out, nope not coming out.  I checked inside and everybody was toasty with no signs of venturing out.  I left warm water, fresh feed and went in the house for coffee and leftover cheesecake.  I will check on them later to see if they hike up their skirts and head out.

The garden rests ....... as does the gardener.  It's winter and been a long time coming this year. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Let me help you............

After being chased through the house Abby gave in to outside play.  After all it was the first blizzard of the season and everybody was home!  Rachael brought her gear from Colorado and we wrangled up enough gear for the Ab-ster.  Snow boards were pulled out of storage and after 30 minutes of rolling around the floor and much protesting of hating snow ........ 
not sure if this is sisterly love or torture......

They were off!  

Love the quiet of the snow...... 

Christmas arrived...... late but so good!

It had been a crazy year in Paine Falls so we decided to have a laid back family holiday.  No running around, no crazies, small, quiet and keeping the fam close.....  
Well until the big elf had his 2 week old iPhone swiped in a store.  Nothing brings out the best in holiday cheer until somebody rips your cell phone right off the counter while you're paying for presents.  Kind of sucks the joy out the season and we heard him singing Fa-la-la-la a bit to aggressively.  He came home dragging his presents in the door and started calling the store repeatedly. Pitifully, he asked Dan the customer service man if someone felt bad and maybe, just maybe because it was Christmas, their heart turned to gold in the glow of the season and turned it in.  I stood in the kitchen listening in disbelief, leaving him his illusions and knowing that phone was probably already wiped clean and on craigslist.  Christmas morning I felt like I had crossed the finished line in a marathon and he said......... wait for it...... I feel so violated.  In my best festive voice I snipped; Buck up Corky!  Get over it, people suck and that is why I rarely live the compound, Oh and Merry Christmas Corky.
  Rachael flew in from Fort Collins at 4 p.m. Christmas Day.  Abby and I stayed home to get the feast ready.  It's an hour and a half from the airport to dinner table but it felt like 5 hours.  We called..... where are you?  How close are you now?  Are you in town yet?   Rachael, on the other end ..... I'm so hungry, I think we're close.  Just get home we got you covered!  

The cargo arrives in the dark of Christmas Evening! 

Waiting for the intrepid traveler and Corky.....

We feasted!  You would have thought we had not eaten in months.  
Menu this year: slow roasted happy Pig ham basted in apple cider and pineapple juice, oven baked sweet potatoes mashed with crushed pineapple and coconut milk then topped with a shredded coconut/pecan praline topping, corn bread with last years fresh frozen corn and raw milk pepper jack cheese, garden green beans tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and coarse salt, carrot/raisin salad with sunflower seeds, homemade pickles and mustards, horseradish, beet relish, corn relish.......  We will eat leftovers for days culminating in split pea soup and one good picked clean ham bone. 

 The elf opened her pack and distributed presents........ we were in awe. 

After presents we rolled back to the kitchen for dessert....... cheesecake of course!  

The chickens got a heat lamp for Christmas and freeze dried meal worms.  
Just in time for the Dec. 26th blizzard.   They got their coop cleaned out too, fresh straw and woodchips for insulation.  

By 10 p.m. we were all in a food coma watching Harry Potter.  
It was a very good Christmas.  Santa was pretty perceptive this year and filled my stocking with gift certificates to a favorite local eatery.  Long over due dinners with Corky!  I will be off my knees and paint free....... I am ready!   Boy and am I ready to get back in the studio and make pots to fill that new space!  

Monday, December 24, 2012

9 days .........

This morning I sat in a chair in the new room and watched the sun come up with a hot cup of coffee!  Body ached a bit but the shear joy of DIY satisfaction is something to bask in, even if for 10 minutes.

9 days ago this is where it began....... 

Been a whirlwind of patching, painting, floor laying, mortaring etc. but I made it before Christmas! 

Saturday we braved the crowds and headed out to do a bit of Christmas shopping and look for a new rug.  While Christmas shopping at Tar-get' Saturday night I wandered into the furniture section and found a new tv stand.  Glass doors, pretty sturdy, price was right and on sale so I tossed it in the cart.  
Sunday morning up at the crack of dawn; drill, screwdrivers, hammer and directions in hand I sat on the floor.  Scattered around me; at least a billion nuts and bolts and various odd shaped pieces of wood.  After an hour and half I had a TV stand that looked remarkably like the one on display!  AND I did not need the extra parts included in the box!  

Dragged it out to the new room, moved the old stand away from the freshly painted walls. Met with miles and miles of cables I scratched my head and wondered where to start?  Can I disconnect satellite hook up, WiFi, DVD, computers, printers, adding machines, disc burners and get them to work again?  I grabbed my tape and Sharpie markers; red, blue and black and set to disconnecting and tagging everything.  Learned this from wiring kilns over the years!  Finally getting every last wire disconnected I lugged the old stand out to the patio.  Pulled up the new stand only to find the box for said satellite hook up does not fit in the new stand.  Out to the studio to look for my hole cutting kit;  there it was under the wedging table!  Cut holes through the back of the new stand :(    Each hole correlated with a plug being shoved through the back. It gave me the extra 2" so I could shut the doors!  Happy Dance, high five the dog and back on my knees connecting everything.  Color coordinated zip ties for the extra cable and I stood back and pressed the "power on" button.  Everything worked!!!!  First try!!  I was high fiv-ing the wall I was so excited.  Moved under my desk and did my office cables!  Again powered up and it worked.  Happy Dancing again!   Ok so it took me until 2 p.m. to get this done but I did it and I did it alone, proving once again....... chicks with tools rule! 

I can see the top of my desk again!  and the wires are gone and everything works!! 

A fine place to watch the sun come up over the chicken coop.  

The budget for this room was $1,000.  I sort of blew it and went over by $276.  The floor was the biggest expense, but worth every penny. Still need to get pedestals up, pots displayed, floating shelves up, tools back on my weaving table, fishing rod holder back on the wall, glass window in, stones thin set back in the steps, bench by the back door, order canvas duck slip covers for those chairs and other small things but in 9 days the really big stuff is done and I will enjoy Christmas morning watching the sun come up while dinner cooks in the kitchen.  
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!   To all who read these tales from Paine Falls, have wonderful holidays of peace and above all joy.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Solstice! and heading toward the light!

Since last posting the flood has been fixed.  I love walking into Home Depot, they know my name!
Makes feel wanted :)  

After the new threshold was installed and mortared into place, I had a chance to do a bit of re-grading on the walk way.  This was not in my plans but hey it's December and I am outside!  I used a 2 part epoxy where door jam and threshold meet the road.  I said apologies to the giant wolf spider living under the jam and relocated her to the garden.  Her remains of past dinners and children swept away!  I'm praying she can't find her way back to the house, she could carry a chicken away! 

Happy the water will be running away from the house now.  The bricks had heaved with the changing weather.  

Don't touch my floor...... I am not moving and this could get ugly.

Well it got ugly and just getting him up two steps and settled was half a day.  When he figured out he could park himself in front of the fridge, stove and table; amends were made. 

Flooring moved in, dug out the knee pads and coffee and thought I would start right up.  

But then I looked at the trim around the doorway........ nuts!  I think this is the last piece of wood in this house I have not touched.  It was the old exterior door jam and it looked a bit over my head but then every project in this house has been over my head.  I YouTubed it and ripped the jam off with my trusty crow bar.  I'm pretty good at demo work but the fixing always takes double the time.

Back to patching.  I am the drywall queen.  It takes three good days of coating, drying and sanding to get it right and it was finally time to tackle all three gapping holes.  

New trim looks much better! 

Finally, yesterday morning I hit the floor!  The first two rows took me 9 hours!!!!  
Wade, the "expert" at Lumber Liquidators and I are now BFF's.  He talked me off the ledge several times and I stuck with it.  But I don't think I will ever attempt an engineered, floating, locking, vinyl floor again.  Whatever happened to peel and stick?   I spent so much time on my knees over three days I think I made my pilgrimage to Home Depot and back....... on my knees.  After three rows it went much better.   Then I hit the back wall.  Because the 1/2" sheet rock was already up and I needed to leave a 1/4" space between tile and wall for expansion, I enlisted my trusty crow bar again.  After many skinned knuckles, begging, please click together and then just cursing, it's finished.  

And the one thing I did not want to do was paint the base boards...... they were yanked and painted, now in the studio drying.  Also shoe moulding...... it just never ends.  But I am sooooo close! 

For our first day of winter we are getting hammered.  Started slow but through the day it has built with ferocity.  The winds are gale force and by morning we are supposed to have 10".  
Welcome Winter!  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

and more projects........

Someday my house will smell like gingerbread at the holidays but alas the smell of latex and primer has me singing Jingle Bells.  I knew there would be a few obstacles when I hit the north side of the room but YIKES!  And I better get a Christmas card from Home Depot this year!  

Good thing it rained last night or I would have laid the floor right over this mess.  Since there was a rubber backed heavy duty rug I did not realize how bad the thresh hold really was.  This morning greeted me with puddles.  Also happy it's not 20 degrees out as daylight is shining through under the door.  The chipmunks are going to have a field day with this new entry! 

Well off to my favorite store first thing this morning.  

Yesterday was plastering, trim and paint.  Sacrificed one of the large drywall ware boards from the studio.  It filled the hole nicely and saved a trip to Depot.  One more coat of joint compound and then sanding will commence with a damp sanding sponge.  Can't believe I lived with this gapping hole 36" x 14" for 5 years.  This is gonna be stellar!  

Poor guy is just lost.  Everyday I promise it will get better and it will.  The turmoil of the last week and my home reflects the lack of sense and order in the world as a whole.  I can put my home back together again with hard work and plodding steps I wonder if this is possible for the country.  I am so grateful I spent time on the river a few days ago: about time for another trip.  
There is blog I read from time to time that I get great enjoyment from.  Yesterday a post was entered titled:  "Travelers".  It's a damn good read.  Thanks Robert! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

heading into day three........

Day Three and feeling the pain ........ I am not 22 anymore!  

Yesterday's breakfast; toast, coffee, knee pads and aspirin. 

Do they make a one coat paint?  They tell you they do but they don't!  Besides I love standing on my a ladder painting over my head, I have no idea how the Sistine Chapel ever got finished.  After two coats and cutting in I can't answer the phone because I can't hold the receiver!  Jelly, just jelly, maybe gripping the roller and brush a bit too tight. 

The red wall is gone ..... only two coats of primer and two coats of paint.  Walls are painted in a color called horseradish..... in honor of Chanukah I guess but I like it.  And who knew painting white over buttercup yellow would be a project?  

no matter what I do to the walls and ceiling the floor is just screaming...... and still there is dry wall and trim, and, and, and....... 

My view from the ladder..... he's never far.  Made pancakes for us this morning and now out to pick up more paint because I have the other half to do!  

Butch gets home at midnight tonight.  Rachael is now a master of Economic Global Sustainability.  She looked awesome in her cap and gown walking up to get her MBA from Colorado State yesterday.  Her class of 20 are the hopes and dreams for tomorrow.  This is the group that will save the world, they are all rock stars.  Has been a haul these last two years but they made it.  On Friday she handed in her last paper and said I am going home and I don't have to do anything, I can't wrap my brain around it.   She and Butch have torn up the town since Thursday.  She'll be home for Christmas and I can't wait!! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

with apologies to the girls......

With that title I know I'm getting spammed by the Viagra trolls of cyber space.  Move along, it's chickens! 

In the heat of renovation I forgot to take the girls their afternoon snack!  Wasn't much around until I ran out to fetch the mail.  The giant pumpkin was still on the front porch!  I thought about slapping a wreath on it but what a great treat for the bitty's in the hen house!  

The pumpkin was so big I dropped it and it bounced.  I left it in the chicken yard and ran to get the hatchet.  I ran back with the hatchet, stepped into the chicken yard, raised the axe over my head and came down hard, splitting the pumpkin in two.  

but where were the girls?  Oops!  They must have thought they were dinner and all 9 were hiding under the coop, beaks trembling.  GIRLS! I called; snacks!  I put the axe outside the yard and brave little Batina stepped in.  

The rest watched as Batina stumbled forth..... or was pushed.

They finally ventured out from the safety of the coop after watching Batina gorge on pumpkin seeds.
You go girl!

It's a party!  All is forgiven and I collected 5 eggs....... 

Next time I'll split the pumpkin on the patio and carry the pieces out to the hen house! 

and the next project........

After a few hours in the mind numbing water yesterday I had planned to go back today but instead tore into the back room.  Ten years ago this room was my studio.  Then I moved down to a cooperative studio in Cleveland, then 9/11 hit and I couldn't get home to my kids so I built a studio 20 feet out the back door.  Best thing I ever did!

Never had studio sales or thought about selling pots out of my studio but then the economy tanked, gas prices went up, show fees went up, tolls went up and I got a flock of chickens.  This year I was on the road every month except January.  Enough!  

This will be my new gallery.  Over the years galleries called and I would pack pots up and drive them to the gallery owner.  This was great for the galleries, not so great for the potter.  Time, gas, energy, yadda, yadda. yadda...... 

Now thinking my old studio would make a great gallery, the track lighting is already there and it needs a good coat of paint, new floor, walls patched and shelves.  Sounds good to me.  

Today the furniture was moved out, desk cleaned off and out, miles of wires and cords to computers, tv's, printers. phones and anything else I need to communicate with the outside world, disconnected.  (wonder if I can get it work again?)  Every drawer, nook and cranny was cleaned out, the trash guy on Monday may turn around when he sees the pile I put in the recycling bin!  I'm calling this the grand purge!  Even the fishing equipment was gone through and sorted.  Reels cleaned, wrapped and put away.  Rods back on the wall.  And I have a tight budget so this will fun! 

mid morning of moving day, first coffee break! 

The desk almost cleared...... what a project!

The east side of the room, we need at least one more dog bed........ 

By 9 p.m. tonight the ceiling and walls had been washed down, floor scraped and scrubbed. 
Had hoped to get that red wall primed but it didn't happen.  Working the red and green for Christmas :) 

The east side of the room with the desk and work table I can't move until the west side is done.  

Hardest part today was getting the dog to move to the other side of the room.  Harder than getting the stuffed chair to the second floor!  

Tomorrow patching and ceiling paint goes up!  And that red wall is history! 

Remember the Hungarian Motto:  Why Do When You Can Over Do!