26 April, 2010

Busy as a Bee ... bzz .. bzz!

Well, I have been remiss in writing, but that's not to say I've been lazy. On the contrary: I've been busy, busy, busy around here. And I've made some real progress on my To Do list, too!

In the past couple of weeks, I've managed to tidy up my landscaping. I've cut grass, weeded gardens, planted, transplanted, created new footpaths, and, finally, even managed to step back and enjoy the fruits of my labors. I re-purposed the old rabbit run into a more proper compost bin, and cleaned up the old haphazard compost pile that I'd been 'crafting' for five years.

I painted the cabinet doors and reattached them to the kitchen cabinets and the hutch cabinets.

I hung new moulding in the kitchen - at the top of the upper cabinets, and just under the lip of the countertop. (It's a simple moulding, but I think it looks really swell in my kitchen.) I got some pieces of pegboard to hang as a backsplash behind the sink, and as a side panel for the oven. (I still have to do the actual hanging, though.)

I hung new window treatment hardware on most of the windows, and got some nice new curtain panels for them, too. They are white cotton curtains with natural jute horizontal stripes. I love them. They are simple. They let the light shine into the room while still affording privacy. And they are beautiful.

My dad and I cleaned out my garage. (That was a dusty enterprise!)

I boxed up the books from the built-in bookshelf, and decorated the shelves with a few remaining cookbooks and plants and display trinkets that will be staying with me.

I have begun cleaning up the old Frigidaire Flair oven to get it ready to sell. (If you aren't familiar with these vintage ovens, you should do a google image search. They are fantastic ovens with some brilliant design touches!)

I've reorganized the bedrooms, which contain primarily three piles of boxes: Stuff that I am keeping; stuff that I am discarding; and stuff that I need to address again to decide if they are keepers or not.

I removed the nasty old caulking adhesive from the tub. (FYI: The adhesive caulking strips do not work!)

I began going through my kitchen cabinets to purge items that I don't essentially need.

And, finally, I had a scare with Lucy Cluckernutter, one of the chickens. I came home the other night from a very hectic day, and sat on the patio to check out the yard, and watch the chicks a while. I soon after noticed that Lucy's foot was trailing a path of bloody prints. When I looked at her foot, it was covered in blood. I immediately tried to get close enough to her to see if I could find the source of the bleeding, but she isn't used to being handled by humans, and runs anytime anyone gets too close. I called my dad, but he didn't know what to tell me if I couldn't even access the foot. Then I found a vet specializing in avians and exotics in Raleigh. They were willing to see Lucy if I could catch her and bring her in. It would be an emergency visit since they were closing within the hour, and wouldn't possibly make it in before then. I called everyone I could think of who might be willing and able to help me try to catch Lucy, but all I was getting was voice mailboxes. None of my immediate neighbors were home. I was freaking out at this point. Try as I might, I couldn't catch her by myself. Finally I got through to my friend and neighbor, Jenn, and she and her husband came over and helped me catch my wounded hen. (Thanks to Jenn and Jeff for being two of the best friends and neighbors ever!) The vet was great, and gave her a full check up after addressing her wound. Turns out one of the blood feathers on her foot got pulled out somehow, and that will cause bleeding. He dressed the wound, gave her an excellent bill of health, charged me a small fortune for the after hours visit (which was totally worth it!), and sent us on our way.

Whew! I think that's it.

I've been trying to take photos as I go, though, admittedly, sometimes forget to get good before shots. I'm hoping to get the photos downloaded before too long, so you can take a look at some of the progress for yourself.

It's ironic how preparing a house to put it on the market can really endear it to the current owner. As I'm seeing my house and, especially, my yard coming together so nicely, it's really been sprouting some conflicting arguments in my mind. I'm hearing that little voice trying to consider what it might be like to stay here a little longer ... or indefinitely. Then the other voice begins to extol the virtues of mobility and travel and simplicity. Then the two voices start bickering back and forth. When this happens, I just remove myself from the argument. I am sticking to my plan. I don't have to think about those big decisions yet, anyway. I'm just going to keep moving forward and working toward my original goal, and I will deal with the rest later, when it's more relevant. That's the plan. I have a plan. Yes, sir. The plan's the thing.

Okay, so for now, I'm off to re-caulk the bathtub, among other things. I hope you're having a lovely and productive Spring, as well!


10 April, 2010


This has been a most productive (and tiring!) week at the homestead. I managed to find a motivating fire to stick 'neath my bum, and it burned for the better part of the week. With the help of my generous papa, I was able to remove my old lavatory sink, install my new lavatory sink, dismantle the chicken coop, turn the old bunny run into a compost bin, do the first big tidy to the yard (mow, weedeat, prune hedges and such), and move the frigidaire flair oven I got last year from the garage into the house. The latter was a complete bitch of a task, but I'm glad it's done. Next on the agenda is to clean up said oven and make sure it's still working properly. Then I need to sort through my mass collection of tools and hardware. I've also got to clean up the farm table and chairs and get them ready to sell. The weather's been hot, but nice and dry. My only complaint is the full contact assault from the pollen noodles in my yard, in my hair, on my skin, in my lungs, and everywhere else. The wee bit of rain last night didn't seem to do too much to assuade them. (bastards!)

This was a lean week where clients are concerned, but next week is shaping up nicely, so I'm not too worried there.

My emotions are still running high and frenzied, though their manifestation has been shifting toward more of an overpowering sense of nostalgia. This is framed mostly around my late college and early post-college days. Having a lot of sensations of regret for the way I handled almost every situation and opportunity I encountered. This is especially difficult to know how to navigate since I am technically opposed to the idea of regret. I realize that had anything been handled differently I might not be who and where I am today. But it's the Who I Am Today that has issues with the way I handled things Then. I'm just trying to recognize these contradictory feelings, and accept them as mile markers on the learning curve of my life. This is, of course, very frustrating and very interesting for me. I wonder what will present itself next?

If anyone out there has some good ideas or suggestions for how to handle these emotional conundrums, I'd love to hear them. Go ahead ... speak out! I'm listening.

05 April, 2010

Cake and Eggs?

Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me. Though, it doesn't really seem as festive as I'd hoped. I'm sharing a birthday with a major Christian holiday, and that always just seems like a rip off. This fact is being driven home by the somewhat forced dinner I've been invited to attend at my parents' home today. My mother is very good at getting her way. And while I will enjoy spending time with my family, it's not really how I would have chosen to celebrate today.

Anyway ... that's not important. I'm just feeling a tad sorry for myself, I think. It's been such a difficult couple of weeks. The yard sale was last Saturday. It went very well. I unloaded much more of my stuff than I ever expected to, and made a decent cash stash to boot. All the preparations, pricing, organizing, set up, and clean up were a nice distraction to keep me from getting too bogged down in my grief over Charlie's absence. However, once the sale was over, I was left without that lovely distraction, and have been feeling those sharp pangs of grief in many moments. I imagine this will be happening for a while. Just last night I had this very precise moment when I realized - almost as if for the first time - that Charlie is really not coming back. He's not on vacation. He's not outside playing in the yard. He's gone. Forever. Needless to say, that was a pretty crappy moment.

My sister also moved last week. Her new apartment is fantastic. It's an old building in the middle of Durham. She's on the top floor. The entire place is reminiscent of an apartment building in New York City. She's been unpacking and decorating and buying lovely new/old pieces of furniture and decor. It's absolutely charming. Seeing her in this new place and watching her go through the process of making it her home and her canvas, of sorts, has started to reawaken the nester in me. It's as if there's a quiet battle raging within between the Happy Homemaker and the Restless Nomad. But, I'm sticking to my Path and just continuing to follow the plan I've laid out already. I am trusting that if the Path needs to change, then I will know it so strongly and so completely that there will be no doubt about which direction to choose. And when I listen to my quiet little internal voice, it is still guiding me toward the RV. I have to remember this when I find myself fantasizing about Sister's apartment.

Now that the yard sale has opened up some space in the house, it's time to start making some repairs. I'd really like to get the house on the market by May, if possible. (Though I do realize that this might be a slightly lofty aspiration.) Yesterday, Dad came over and helped me patch up the cracks on the chimney. Hopefully this will keep the chimney from leaking anymore. The sealant was quite toxic, so the breathing of it wasn't so fun, but the views of the neighborhood from the roof of my house were really lovely. I'd never been on my roof before. Perhaps I'll go again before I move, and take my camera for some photographic memories.

Tomorrow we are planning to replace the bathroom sink. I bought the new one already, we just need to remove the old one and put the new one in its place. It's been so long since I installed the last sink. I hope I remember how to do it properly without having to make fourteen hundred trips to the hardware store like last time. But it will be nice to start seeing some real improvement taking place in the house. And it will be very nice to start checking off items on my repair list.

Okay, time to go to my "birthday dinner". Happy Easter, if you celebrate it. If you don't, then I'll wish you a very merry unbirthday!