Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wood Stove and Resting Up

There is a lovely blogger name Bruce at   FallenfromGrace blog.  He has had numerous health problems and is dealing with his issues.  He always reminds me that it is important not to measure my worth by how much work I get done.  After all, work is not all we are.  For a total Type A personality this can be a hard lesson to deal with.  It is easy to put all your self-worth eggs in the work basket.  When you can't work as much anymore it is a big adjustment.

Today I am resting up.  Yeah, I have gotten a lot done lately but by not prioritizing and resting up sooner, I am wearing myself out.  I am sore and tired and dragging butt badly. Tomorrow, I clean a house and I hope desperately that I have the oomph to do it right.  After all, my priorities have to be the pets, the hubby and my few clients getting their houses cleaned right.  Friday, I am going to rest up again.  Hopefully, by taking good care of myself I will be able to keep it together instead of falling apart for a week.

It does suck that I can't get everything done as fast as I want to but I keep telling myself that it is the big picture that counts.  I will get my home improvement done even if it takes a long time to do it.  It took a little over a year to finish the greenhouse but now I have a lovely spot to raise baby plants.  It looks like it may not be until sometime this spring that I get the doors on the new long shed.  That shed has already been in the works for over a year but, it is painted and it is being used for storage and by sometime next year everything will be snug when it rains or snows.

The wood stove is in and we had a lovely fire this morning.  The house is toasty and warm.  I am grateful for this.  I have lived in worse places and been pretty darn cold so, just for today, I am enjoying sitting in a warm house with a lovely fire and all the  modern conveniences including a computer.

Life is good even if I am not getting anything constructive done:)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Freezing Temps and Fire

Tonight is the first night for freezing temps this year.  I have all the irrigation and hoses off the faucets as a precaution.  Once the hose bibs freeze your dead toast.  They only freeze if you don't take the time to unhook the hoses.

Fortunately, we got the new wood stove up and running today.  It is a Kuma Wood Classic and it is wonderful.  We built our first small fire to cure the paint and sat by it for an hour.    Hubby is getting all the credit for this one.

Hubby cut a hole in the ceiling, got all the roof flashing on and the support box in.  He got the triple wall pipe in.  Then, he got the stove centered and the double wall interior pipe on the stove.  Really, an all day event.  Although we did take an hour or so off in the early afternoon.  Hubby can do anything and I am very proud of him.

I, on the other hand, have reached the point of exhaustion.  Tomorrow is an absolute day of rest.  Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is getting done.  I really over did it.

Yeah, I have a lot left to do and I will still have a lot left to do on  Friday but until then I am resting up tomorrow and cleaning a house on Thursday and that is it!

Monday, October 24, 2011


The end of the season is definitely here.  I pulled the last of the veggie garden irrigation tubing today.  I picked the last green tomatoes.  I cut the tomato vines down, chopped into smaller pieces and put them on the compost pile.

I moved some more dirt away from the greenhouse since I know Hubby is impatient and will not wait to split wood until I have more dirt moved.  We are going to split wood where the road base for the little driveway up the little hill to the hay shed ends.  That will help keep the sand from moving through there.  But I need to get the sand lowered first or we'll never keep the doorway cleared for me to use the greenhouse.

I started cutting rice grass for the goats.  It will take all winter to get most of it cut back.  But we do have the best rice grass in the area so it will be worth it.  Maybe I'll get the goats out into the North 2 acres and let them have at it.  That would save me a lot of work but cost me a lot of time.  We shall see.

I have been working on the compost pile, trying to get it turned.  Looks like I am having a lot of success in making compost since I have been sprinkling it on a regular basis.  Fun!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tired but proud

I am tired but proud of the work I did today.  I picked up that new cleaning job and am happy to have gotten it.  I think they are a lovely family.  It is a big house and there are two dogs but I will do my very best to get it shining around there.

I ran to Costco since I was halfway there anyway.  We had some ham in the fridge that wasn't opened yet and it had blown up like a balloon.  Did not seem safe to eat that is for sure.  They took it back, no problem.  I got some milk, some cheese slices and some replacement ham, some apples and, my favorite, a Danish.  Oh yeah, they had the pepperoni pizza on sale for $3 off so we are having easy eating tonight!!!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I did it.  I got the goat pen cleaned out, the straw in the goat hut cleaned out, the water trough scrubbed and filled with fresh clear beautiful clean water and new straw in the goat hut.  I am so proud of myself.  I am dog tired but it had to get done.  Those animals are counting on me.

I got a call for a new cleaning job.  I have to be there tomorrow at nine since their cleaning lady they hired didn't show up today.  Then, they will want every other week.  Let's see if they balk at my price.  I am not driving 45 minutes each way, bringing my own supplies and cleaning a 2 bath, 4 bedroom house with four people living in it for less than the usual $75 every other week.

Rested up and then got four plants into the ground.  Two rosemary.  Several people have told me they will make it through the winter here.  I put them up front in the warm part of the garden.  One Pineapple sage - I don't have a clue if it will live here but I put it in.  I love the flowers on sage plants.  This one has brilliant red flowers in a delicately shaped oblique tube with a fringe on the outside edge.  One German thyme - I know that one will grow here since I already have some.  Put it in on the south patio where it will fit in nicely with all the other heat loving plants.

Of course, I fed the goats and the dogs.  Loaded up for tomorrow's cleaning job.  Now, it is time to make sure I keep resting up.  I must do a good job tomorrow.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cutting wood

Hubby picked me up to go cut wood across the river yesterday afternoon.  Turns out he already got some cedar wood in the morning.  Then he  took me out to get pinyon pine at an old mining town.  Not much town left but there are plenty of resinous dead pinyons to cut down.  Turns out that although the road is a bit rocky at the start, we can get a trailer up there, no problem, the next time we go.  That would make for a very long day but we could get an entire cord of wood all at once.

It was so lovely up there in the hills.  Trees all around and birds flitting everywhere.  Peaceful and sunny.  I had a nice time.

Honestly, I didn't help that much on the wood gathering.  This whole make over - the painting, the shopping, the tile work - has kind of taken it out of me.  I desperately need an entire day off.  Today, however, I had to clean another house.  So, tomorrow I will rest up except for cleaning out the goat pen a bit.

The slate tile looks so good on the hearth we picked up another 5 boxes so we could do the entry way by the front door.  We had to buy another small bag of mortar but there is plenty of grout left from the hearth job so this will be an inexpensive way to pretty up that area.  Right now it is green vinyl.  Kind of goes with the green carpet.  Yeah, I'd get rid of the carpet but I really don't have it in the budget.  Maybe in a couple of more years.

Did I mention that Hubby got my pretty new chandelier up.  He knows how to do everything:)  It looks so pretty and the old one was so freakin' ugly.  What  a pleasant change.  We took six years to get around to painting the living room/dining room/hall and fixing it up a bit.  I am so pleased we are getting that opportunity now.

Of course, we have been kind of busy since we moved in.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Make over

Hubby has a few days off and we have gotten a lot done.  Loosely using the term we.

The new chandelier looks fabulous.  Hubby got it up today.

The slate tile got laid yesterday and we grouted it today.  Hubby did all the heavy lifting and I did the actual grouting and cleaning up excess mortar while Hubby kept the clean buckets of water coming.  That saved me a lot of back breaking effort.  A good thing since I didn't have it in me.

We managed to get some of the stuff put away and now we can walk through the office again.

I have a cleaning job tomorrow and am resting up so that I can get my arms to do that much work.  Arghhh.  It is hard not to have the ability to keep going and going but darn it at least I am still going.

I hope I manage to paint Sunday and Monday so that we can wrap this job up for the most part on next Tuesday and Wednesday.

It's been a lot of work but I am so pleased that after living here for 6 years we finally got to the last room of the house to be painted.  The wood stove will be toasty and save us money.  Plus, we will not freeze if the power goes out for several days.

Tomorrow, Hubby is meeting up with me after my cleaning job and we are going to see about cutting wood for the new stove.  He has already said he will do most of the work tomorrow since I am pretty much done in.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Notable Quotable

Today's Notable Quotable is an entire article by Valerie Tarico, published on  Valerie is often thought provoking as a writer with a gentle style about her.

So, do we keep the term spirituality or do we find another word that conveys this meaning better.  Is there another word available?  I don't know but I am planning on looking into this topic this winter.

Cheese and Whine

Can I have a little cheese with my whine?  Yesterday I was definitely whiny and sore.  This morning I am sore and tired but making a plan to get through the day.  I'll mostly do the laundry and rest up:)

So, what did I do today?  I fed the goats and the dogs.  I watered a bit using a sprinkler to do all the work.  I moved a couple of items around into the dining room and living room.  I got the laundry done.

I took a nap, twice:)  I sat on my butt and gazed at the new color on the walls and the new chachkies arrangement on the cookbook sideboard or buffet.  I put the two corn plants in the corners by the sliding door on top of the rectangular wicker baskets with flip up lids.  I hide the extra blankets in those.  I think it makes a great statement.

The color [Behr Pale Honey] is stunning.  It really is the color I wanted.  Golden and yet not too dark.  It definitely is not beige.  Ack.  I want some color but it still fits into the earth tones, I think.  I placed the antique chest of drawers with the unique old time radio looking top piece on the wall by the window.  I think it looks good there.  The gold color on the walls certainly accentuates its good looks.

The walnut dresser from the forties is going where the antique piece used to be, near the front door.  I think it will look good there and there is room to hang the mirror.  We can have a basket for keys and such on it.  And you will be able to set items down to open and close the door on your way in and out.

The dog leashes need to find a new home.  We rarely use them anyway.  We'll see what we do about that.

The couch is leaving tomorrow afternoon.  I found it a good home.

I am hurting all over but taking a day off will hopefully help and I will feel better by tomorrow.  We'll see.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gardening and Painting

It is official.  I feel bad!  I have so over done it that I don't know if I can do one more thing today.

I got the second coat of gold paint on the living room/dining room walls.  That was another 3 hours of painting on top of the hours of scrubbing and painting I did yesterday.

I got a lot of the winter cover crop on the garden and tried to rake it in.  I don't think I did a very good job but it has to get done yesterday.

I got the dishes in the dishwasher.

That is it.  I am all done in.  I am going to hobble to the couch and desperately hope I feel good enough to get 22.5 sq.ft. of slate tile mortared into place tomorrow.

Late afternoon.  I took a break and then decided that it was now or never on finishing up the tar on the roof.  I really only had about 5 feet by 10 feet left.  I crawled up there and got it done but have reached the "I think I am going to be sick" stage of physical labor.  I have a couple of movies to watch and I think I will do that and stop playing Wonder Woman.

I really shouldn't have done it but this is the last day of the year that we will have weather close to 80 degrees.  This was a top priority until Hubby decided getting a wood stove was a great idea.  Which it is.  I just had other things to do so I am trying to prioritize.  Which isn't easy to do when you have a wood stove coming on Tuesday and fall cover crop that has to get in yesterday and painting and tarring the roof to finish and putting in a fire hearth and shopping your butt off to get all the things you need to get all these jobs done.

I think I' ll go now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Make Over

All right, the dining room half of the ceiling washed and painted.  The dining room walls washed and painted.  In fact all the walls are washed except where there is a couple of pieces of furniture.  The long living room wall and the living room window wall - painted.

That's about a zillion hours of work done today and that means we are almost on track to finish up in a timely fashion.


Fall is well on its way in the garden.  The last of the tomatoes are ripening slowly.  It is amazing that we have any tomatoes left at all.  Usually there has been a good frost by now.

The maple trees have really turned a beautiful scarlet color this year in anticipation of dropping its leaves.  The green ashes are all very vibrant yellows.  The mountain ashes are a bright red.

It is quite satisfying to walk around the yard or pull up into the driveway and see the results of 5 years of hard work plainly displayed.  The shrub poplars on the edges of the property are a good 12 feet tall.  The green ashes went from miniature to about 5 feet tall.  One day we will be parking in the shade.

The Barker cypress are another foot taller and have filled out since two years ago when one side got burnt to a crisp in the winter.  Same with the Leland cypress which actually look pretty good although two of them died that fateful winter two years ago.

Several of the Austrian pines are as tall as I am.  That would be 5'8".  The rest of the pine trees have all put on at least a foot of growth.  The new guys out in front of the Secret Garden are alive and doing well [of course, I had to replace the one that was closest to the house due to accidentally not getting any water on it but the little new guy looks great and he's only a little behind his friends].

The Jeffries pines and Douglas firs all look fantastic and are growing like gang busters.

The hackberries have languished as teensey weensey trees until this year.  Now they are still very small but working very hard and have grown to aout 18 inches high.  I bet they put on several feet a year from now on.

All the mountain ashes look great and are 2 to 3 years old.  The one for the back yard is a bit slow to get bigger but maybe next year it will put some size on.

All the locusts [black and purple robe] have grown tremendously and really make the yard look like it has trees when you drive by.

The tree poplars have finally hit their stride and should be growing fast for the next few years.

The fruiting mulberries have been a real challenge.  Gophers got some of them.  We keep replacing them and some of them finally got over 3 feet tall this year.  A few are still pretty small.  We thought they would grow really fast but those little guys have taken a surprisingly long time to get established.

The buffalo berries from 2 springs ago are as tall as I am and the ones from this year are still small but very healthy.  I am looking forwards to my hedge around the veggie garden.

All in all, gardening is more or less done for this year except for the hard work of clean up and hauling in manure for the veggie garden.  We are also, hopefully, going to haul in some more flat rocks to finish up the pathways.  Of course, we still have to finish home improvement and get out there and cut some firewood.  One thing at a time, I suppose.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Make Over

Well, the living/dining room/hallway make over saga continues.  Having gotten a fantastic chandelier for the dining room, I decided that the hallway light was not up to snuff so back to Carson City after cleaning a house today.  I got a two pack of bronze looking flush mount lights for only $14.95.

The current hallway light has a flying saucer look to it.  The new light has a much more elegant look.  The light fixtures only hold one bulb instead of the current 2 but I figure its a hallway and a short hallway at that.  I'll put a nice bright florescent bulb in.

I also got a lovely fan by Hampton Bay for $79.  It is oiled bronze and has a tea stain glass globe under mount.  Our current fan is brass and really doesn't have the nice look for our new stove, slate hearth, Florentina chandelier and black curtain rods with white antique door knob finials.  This new fan will fit in nicely.

The fan in the bedroom is atrocious.  It goes wop! wop! wop!  Every time we turn it on we say "Saigon, 1972".    That fan can be taken down.  The one from the living room can be transferred into the bedroom.  The new fan will go in the  hole created by moving fans:)

Well, I got to thinking.  Why get a new fan for the bedroom when it is the living room getting the make over?  We don't care what fan is in the bedroom as long as it doesn't go wop, wop, wop!

Guess I better get to scrubbing the last of the ceiling since scrubbing and painting is my department and needs to get done. this weekend.  We need to mortar the hearth by Sunday so we can grout by Monday so we can pick the stove up and install it next Tuesday and Wednesday.  Doing it ourselves is keeping this whole thing cost effective but boy is it a lot of work:)

Notable Quotable

"Supposedly we are slaves to sin from the time we are born. It is only in Christ that we gain freedom and truly live."

"It is reported that the most powerful drugs manufacturer in the Universe has, because it can, infected every member of the human race with a virus which will cause them not to die, but to exist forever in interminable pain.
In a later announcement, the company has declared that it has created a cure, which is invisible, freely available to all, but require membership of a repressive cult which, alone, has been granted the rights to dispense the cure. Although the cure is free, membership of the cult is both mandatory AND expensive, and the cult may declare the cure to be withdrawn and inactive at any time. Any member of the cult who is foolish enough to leave, is deemed never to have received the cure in the first instance, meaning that the company is absolved of all responsibility for the member's eventual and unavoidable agony.
In breaking news, governments worldwide are in tacit agreement that their various legislative measures relating to trading standards and corporate behaviour do not have jurisdiction over the company."


Thursday, October 13, 2011


I drove back into town today since we are on a mission to get this living room/dining room/hallway done.  I got the mortar we needed.  Mapei II  in grey color.  They fortunately had a small bag.  The other Mapei product was said to be a somewhat better choice but it only came in giant 50 pound bags.  Aaarrgghh, no way am I wanting to have a huge amount like that sitting in the long shed for years.  The smaller bag and the fact that we used Mapei II in the kitchen and the kitchen has turned out fine pushed me to the Mapei II.

I got a gorgeous Hampton Bay Florentina hanging chandelier with 5 light amber colored glass globes that point upward and a wheaten finish with hints of black for $50.  It is a bit grand but I think it will look fantastic.  I only hope Hubby agrees since I already took it out of the box:)  I looked it up and that light fixture was going for $250.  Wow, such a deal!!!  I have been searching for the right dining room lighting fixture for quite some time.

I got curtain rods in black,  1" for the tab curtains.  The finials are an old-fashioned door knob shape and they are white with black accents.  I like them and they were half the price of all the other ones I didn't like so much.  Again, hope Hubby likes them as well.  I guess I will find out pretty soon.  He'll be home in an hour and a half.

Yes, I was gone for 5 hours doing shopping.  Hope I am done!

Darn it.  I didn't think of it when I was at the store earlier today but the other light that goes with the chandelier would be great for the hallway where I have the fairly ugly "flying saucer" light fixture.  While I could live with it, it certainly would be nice to replace it at these prices.  The other light was a pendant but smaller and flatter than the chandelier I bought today.

Hubby thought the chandelier I bought was fine.  He liked the one I took a picture of better [I liked that one too] but thought at less than half the cost and no special bulbs needed [unlike the other light fixture I took a picture of]  he could live with this one.

Hubby really like the curtain rods so that was great!!!!


Payback is a bitch and I am now paying the price for getting so much done yesterday.  I am sore and tired.  I think I will drive into town and see about my wall paint, 2 curtain rods, mortar to put down the tile, a couple of snazzy spare tiles and a dining room light.

The old dining room light is butt ugly,  Maybe we can change it out before I paint that half of the ceiling.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I finally found the paint color I want to paint the living room, dining room and hallway.  The area really needs to be all one color.  I reviewed paint brands on line and they started to all sound pretty good of the brands I can get in my area.  I found the perfect color, Pale Honey, in the Behr brand.

I got one of those paint samples for $3.  It actually had a lot in it.  I placed it around the two rooms, behind some of the furniture and in the hallway to see if it really was what I wanted in here.  It is.  Hubby voted yes as well when he got home from work.

 I tried the Behr brand by buying the ceiling paint.  I went with Honeymilk which I had color matched from the Valspar I used on the kitchen cabinets.  I also got flat matte finish.  I washed with TSP and then a few hours later I painted the first half of the ceiling.  The difference is a bit subtle since the ceiling was shiny white before and now it is matte white but I do think it was an improvement.

The ceiling was looking a bit dirty as well so I think it was worth it.

I filled all the holes from the mirror and paintings we took down.  I also took out all the sky hooks from the ceiling and I filled those today.  I patched a couple of cracks.  I am hoping to have enough prepping and  wall washing done to paint the wall the stove is going on before we bring it in.

I got one set of curtains down and one set to go.  I patched those holes too since I am getting curtain rods that go with our tab top curtains.  I was still using the draw string curtain rods that went with the old curtains.  Not anymore.  I have been wanting to change those up for a long time.

While in town tomorrow I am hoping to finally find a dining room light that looks good, isn't too expensive [okay, I need a great price] and doesn't look like it will get to swinging in the wind too badly.  Yes, even though we have been to town 4 days in a row [Sat-Tues] I need to get some tar, the five gallons of gold paint and a couple of other little things.

Home Again!

We have been home since last Thursday.  We got the truck and trailer unloaded and all the clothes washed up.

Somehow we got the idea on Friday that we should look into a wood stove.  We researched, realized the new stoves are very efficient and headed into town on Saturday to look at stoves in person.  We came home and did some more research.

Sunday we went back to the store we thought had the two best stoves and spent several hours making up our minds.  A mid-size Lennox or a mid-size Kuma.  We finally decided on the Kuma Wood Classic.  We put down our deposit and made arrangements to pick up the stove on Tuesday next week. We went to the two big box stores in town to look at hearth materials. Came home and did more research on what we would need to do a hearth.  We also got the entire living room cleared of furniture.

Monday it was back to town to get a wood cutting permit, some chainsaw parts and measure the new stove for the air inlet and buy our choice of hearth materials.  Unfortunately, it was Columbus day so we couldn't get the wood cutting permit and the wood stove store was closed, as well.  We did purchase our concrete backer board, slate tiles, mortar, grout and air intake parts.

Back to town on Tuesday since we couldn't get everything done in town on Monday.  We measured the stove, double checked that we had the right stovepipe list and had heart failure over the price of stove pipe a second time.  We had lunch in town.  Yes, it was decadent but after all, we are still on vacation:) We hit Costco and we were finally home again.  After taking a break, we got the hearth started.

Hubby did a bunch of measuring and double checking.  He cut a hole in the floor and then he cut a matching hole in each of the concrete backer board layers.  We dry fitted and the holes lined up perfectly.  We put down some Thinset, screwed down the first layer of backer board, some more Thinset and the second layer of backer board was screwed into the floor.

We spent hours and hours driving and shopping these last several days and it has been pretty exhausting.  Hubby is back to work but he is putting in 6 - ten hour days in a row.  So, I am sort of on my own for the next week.  Did I mention that I have decided now is the time to finally paint the living room?  Most of the furniture is out so I through that into the mix.  Today, if I can manage it, I am washing the ceiling with TSP so I can paint it Honeymilk white.  More on painting in another post, I think.

Right now it is time to get moving.  There is a paint sample to put on the wall.  It is called Pale Honey.  It is a gold color but hopefully not too dark.  Then I have some goats and dogs to feed.  And the day is rolling forwards from there.