Hello, how are you? I’ve been up and down, busy and at the same time quiet. The calendar says it’s the middle of May but stepping outside it doesn’t feel like it and that’s left me a bit down in the dumps.
I spotted these three butterflies on a stroll to the library Monday. They were just sitting in the middle of the road intent on something beneath them. I considered lifting and moving them off the road but then left them where they were as this road is rarely ever traveled by car.
We’ve had rain almost every day for the last three weeks! I can’t complain because while one day we had frost my son just an hour north had snow. The strawberries are covered in flowers but it’s been too cold for them to set berries yet. I hope they hold off on the berries until the weather warms up as I fear I could lose them in another cold snap.
The only planting I’ve done has been non-edible. Mother’s day my kids took me to the store where I found variegated hostas, the exact ones I wanted for the planter I’d built from reclaimed bricks found on the property to dress up the empty spot between the stairs and the ramps leading to the deck.
These hostas will spread and fill in nicely in a year or two. I’d like to put something colorful in the back corners but don’t know what yet. Any ideas? I prefer perennials to be in this planter but this spot gets very little sun so shade loving plants would be best.
This picture will give you a better idea of how this fills out the empty space. Since this is the north side of the house, only a bit of light reaches this spot late in the afternoon but that light is filtered by the deck and trees that surround this planter bed.
The day I set out to fill the bed with soil and plant the hostas I also began working on the bed along the lower ramp and to clean up the blocks tossed into the drive way last summer and pull the weeds overtaking the drive. It had been raining all morning but at the first break I headed out. The first thing I did was to start on clean up. Near the end of the drive were large boxes my neighbor gave me to use as weed blockers in the gardens, I headed there to break them up to use. Suddenly something jumped out scaring the heck out of me. When you live in the country for as long as I have any animal that jumps out of a box can be one angry at you for disturbing their habitat. Luckily, it was just one of the stray cats.
This was the day for animals to startle me. 🙂 As I began to fill the bed I’ve along the lower ramp with soil I heard something fall. It was heavier than a branch, you know that sound that tells you there is some weight involved. I looked up to find this guy hissing at me.
The only thing I could figure is that he came from the retaining wall above. While he posed me no physical threat I decided to move on to the weeding and let him be. As I turned to toss a load of weeds I was startled to find the cat I’d disturbed in the boxes spread out on the steps watching my every move. Darn cat! 🙂 A little while later the snake had moved on and I finished dumping the last of my soil. Then I went back to weeding.
The rains had chased me in a few times during my work but they weren’t very heavy so when the next drops began to fall I decided to work through them expecting it to quit again in a few minutes. Unfortunately, this time the skies opened up and drenched me putting an end to the work outside once again.
The saga of the handyman continued
I’d scheduled another weekend with him and again he didn’t show up to run the plumbing for the washer. In the end this may have been a blessing. My son let it slip that when the day comes that I can no longer live here he will be tearing out the kitchen and starting over.
My first reaction was to be defensive, instead I asked him to explain. His first comment was that no one wants blue cabinets. I beg to differ but he continued. He pointed out that while he understood I was trying to save what was already here renters would want cabinets that worked. He’s right, no matter what I’ve done with the drawers in the kitchen they still stick and are a pain to close.
I asked him about the washer in the kitchen and he told me to go ahead and install it because it would be easy to remove. I should mention there are hookups in the basement for both a washer and a dryer so anyone able-bodied probably would be more than happy to have their laundry in the basement and want the washer removed from the kitchen.
I took time to reconsider my plans for the kitchen. One of my goals in life has been to produce as little trash as possible, hence why I didn’t rip out the kitchen to begin with. I asked around and found a person who would like to have the cabinets for a storage space she wants to build so if I replace the cabinets they will be repurposed, if my son replaces the kitchen cabinets they will go to the landfill.
But what to do about the washer. In the end, I didn’t care what type of washer I had as long as I could do my own laundry without needing the tub to do so. I decided to look at portable washers. I finally found a model that was large enough to do a good-sized load – some are really small and only able to wash one pair of pants or one towel – and had fantastic reviews. I made the purchase. It was delivered yesterday and I was over the moon in excitement. It’s funny how a little thing such as a convenient way to wash my clothes can inspire the rest of my day. Well, at first.
This is made by Midea, the same company that manufactured the small refrigerator I have. The washer has two wheels on the back of the machine for ease in moving it around. I don’t know what the upcoming years have in store for me and so when I took on this house it was always with the caveat that it would be my home “until I can’t live here”. I don’t like to think that one day my only option may be a nursing home, instead I entertain an apartment, assisted living, where there would be nurses on hand but I could still have my own space unlike a nursing home. In that situation having a portable washer it could move with me. Originally I’d planned to spend the money on the plumbing and machine and leave it behind for the next person.
I was so excited I attached the hose and started my first load of laundry. I checked for leaks, none, and set about on another task while the load ran. All of a sudden it got really quiet. A few minutes later warning beeps alerted me to a problem. The machine wasn’t emptying.
After investigating I came to the conclusion that the pump wasn’t working. Talk about frustrated. All I wanted was to wash my own clothes! After calling the company, the customer service man was a joy to work with, I was given the option of shipping back the machine and having a new one sent to me or having a repair technician come to my house. I opted to have it repaired. Luckily, they were able to schedule a repair for tomorrow morning.
Speaking of the kitchen. I’ve decided to replace the cabinetry along the one wall but to still follow through on my plans to cut down the cabinet next to the stove to give me work space that isn’t so high. The arrows in the picture below show where I plan to cut the cabinet, right at the spot where the opening begins to hold the drawers.
I need a hand removing the counter top as shockingly it’s the only counter in the house screwed into place. I wanted to move the refrigerator which drives me nuts to see cluttering up the counter and place it underneath in the cabinet. To do this I removed the doors and cut the wood piece off that ran between the two doors and cut a hole in the side of the cabinet to run the power cord through to the outlet.
Sorry for the poor quality of the photo the camera I use on my phone to take all my pictures needs good lighting and with all the rain and dreariness I can’t get a good indoor photo at the moment.
In this cabinet I am now keeping the refrigerator and next to it the basket that holds rags. This makes it easy for not only myself to access rags when needed but for the children to quickly grab a rag when they spill something. Behind the basket is where the coffee pot is stored. I don’t drink coffee but inherited this when my son got a new machine and passed this to me for guests who do want coffee in the morning.
Next to this cabinet will be another cabinet I am building to hold a cooktop. The two pieces will be easy to remove and inexpensive for my son to replace when I have to leave this house, should he not find a disabled person to rent to.
Not much else has been going on. I’ve started working on a few pieces of furniture and the repair work on one of the salvaged windows, I’ll share when they are completed but if it doesn’t stop raining it may be a while. 😦