Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The River

I am back down with DD again this week. She lives in such a beautiful area. I've often said it is Oregon's best kept secret along the Columbia River. Beautiful views, sparsely populated and reasonably priced -- relatively.
The PacNW is having gorgeous October weather. Yesterday I went into the city to pick up DD's mail from the post office and then wandered down the stree two blocks to find an amazing little beach. There were two markers memorializing local people for their contributions to the area.
Washington State is on the other side of the river. You can see the recently cleared areas and new houses. DD and I sat up there on the clearing before the houses were built and enjoyed the view one beautiful summer day.
The home sites were being sold for approximately $200,000 and had a restriction saying that you had to build a home that had a value of $250,000.
We soaked in the view of the river barges moving up and down the river and an occasional sail boat. We enjoyed a picnic of ham and cheese sandwiches and took evil pleasure in spitting out our watermelon seeds on such expensive property.
Next to the park is this fantastic house. I thought it was a B&B or a business but it is a personal home.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Secret Mission

Where have I been? On a semi-secret mission playing at darling daughter's home doing some deep cleaning, painting walls and having a great time sharing stories and laughing at silly things while we work.
I can't show you pictures of our progress because we want it all to be a surprise for her hubs when he returns in about 2 weeks from working overseas. He knows that we've been tampering with his castle because he has approved the original budget and the revised upper limit of the budget but he doesn't know how we are spending the money.

DD works during the day but I'm kept company by my grandkitty. He is so very entertaining. He likes looking out at the world through the great windows of this house. Here he is, laying on the kitty porch his daddy made for him so he could lay down and still see out.
I was here all last week but went home (2 hours north) for the weekend. I didn't want to miss the Bible study class on Saturday morning and then a 50th wedding anniversary party Saturday afternoon. Then, after church on Sunday, I returned to finish a project as part of the secret mission.
While I was home I took a picture of a neighbors home decked out for the upcoming spooky day. We moved to Quirky Cottage in mid-October. When I first saw this fence I thought it was permanently part of their yard and in need of repair and paint! They take it down in November and put it back up every October. I love it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Red Curtain

It is scary to cut into a vintage tablecloth when you know that if you make a mistake in judgement you can't just go back to the store and get another one just like it.

After thinking about it and testing it several times before actually cutting into the fabric I settled on a pattern that I wanted to use for the topper over the kitchen window.

I can never sew without smiling and thinking of my darling daughter. When she was a young child she tried her hand at sewing but didn't take to it. But, that didn't mean that she wasn't creative. One day I sat down at my sewing machine and found this:

I always make sure I have plenty of pins so I don't have to use any of the ones she did.

The curtain that had been hanging over the sink when we bought QC was what I used for the lining and rod pocket. Waste not, want not -- my mother's words were echoing in my head.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Life as it happens

I need to take my camera with me when I go out for a walk. I may become the woman the neighbors all whisper about but I don't care.

Here is what I saw but I have no real explanation for. A young man walking beside a bicycle that he was pushing down the sidewalk and the bike had a ladder attached to it its side.

Here are some of the possible explanations that I thought of:

1. He is just getting into the gutter cleaning profession and can't yet afford a motorized vehicle

2. He is an environmentally-minded second story man

3. He found the ladder along the side of the road with a "free" sign on it and decided to take it home

What do you think?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Retirement Party

Two dozen of my friends, ex-co-workers and two of our children were able to come to our home to celebrate with me the end of the working career part of my life.

My friend, Sherrie, helped me to decorate the house.

Our caterer friend, KP, provided a table full of finger foods. This is what the table looked like before we removed all of the plastic wrap. I meant to photo it later but I was having too much fun visiting and didn't think of it until we had all served ourselves at least once.

It was wonderful to share good fun and stories and to make future plans to play with our other retired friends!

When it began to get dark several of us went out to a local corn maze. Several years ago we went to the corn maze and wandered through the non-haunted portion. This year we decided to be brave and travel through the haunted part.

We had to stand in line for over an hour and to my amazement the two sweet young ones with us stayed in good humor even when the adults were a little fussy about the wait.

I'm not sure why, but even though I knew there would be people popping out of the corn stalks trying to scare me -- they still did. I'll admit to screaming in surprise a few times.

Once a rather scarey looking creature with one of the most menacing moaning voice kept following me. When I yelled to the Cottage Master to protect me I found him several paces behind the creature laughing his head off. Great!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Corner revisions

For the past few months I’ve been enamored with vintage Pyrex mixing bowls. I’ve been purchasing them from estate and garage sales and have amassed more than enough now. But when I saw this bowl I just had to have it. I knew it was begging to come home with me and grace this table.

I picked up the doily a few weeks earlier just because I liked it and was thrilled when I realized that the two pieces were meant for each other.

I wanted a mirror for this corner and found that everything I liked was $300 to $400. Then I found a nice large ugly mirror for $80 and bought it. I knew that after I applied some paint to it this ugly duckling it could be a swan.

It's hard to take a picture of a mirror and NOT be in it. :-)

I painted the black stripe -- it had been white -- and brushed gold onto the top of the relief areas to bring out the pattern. It had been all white with no definition. When I bought it Cottage Master asked me, "Are you sure this is the mirror you want?" Yup, I saw its potential.

This must be the way God looks at us -- we ain't much to look at but He knows that with His help we can be so much more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Quirky Clothes

There will be a small gathering of friends at our home this coming Saturday and after a late afternoon of food and fun we thought we’d invite our party to go out for a little after-dark fun.

With this in mind my friend, Sherrie, and I were out on a fact finding trip to a local corn maze. We needed to know about the admission price, and what sorts of activities were available.

We were happy with what we found there in the way of fun even though the admission price seemed a little high to me. They also had a vegetable stand there and I bought a couple of onions to add to the soup I was making and Sherrie bought some squash that she was going home to cook immediately because it smelled and looked so good.

We were on our way back into town and a few blocks from Quirky Cottage when I interrupted our casual conversation by blurting out, “That’s my husband’s underwear!”

Poor Sherrie was so stunned by such an exclamation that she pulled the car to the side of the road. I jumped out for a closer inspection of the pair of white socks, blue tee shirt, beige walking shorts and a pair of dark gray Jockeys lying along the edge of the road.

The Jockeys is what caught my eye because at first glance they appeared to be identical to MY favorite pair that that the Cottage Master wears.

After approaching the clothing that had been flattened and ground into the asphalt by car tires running over them I was assured that they did not belong to the Cottage Master.

I had to explain to my astonished and hysterically laughing friend that the Cottage Master is notorious for putting things on top of his car then driving away. They very well could have been his, really.

Would I have picked them up had I been convinced that they were his? NO, no, no.
P.S. Just in case you are interested -- today, a day later, the walking shorts have been picked up but the rest of the clothing is still getting ground into the pavement.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Glass Garden

When our Gardening Daughter first saw Quirky Cottage she said that because of the location and height of the flower box below the kitchen window was going to be a real pain to take care of.

I was certain that I could overcome any difficulties that it might present. The first year I planted annuals in there and discovered what a pain in the back it was to maintain.

Last summer I kept thinking I'd do SOMETHING but never did.

Now that I'm retired and have NO excuse for laziness the pressure was on to do something with that box.

So, out I went with a box of colored glassware . . .

And did this . . .

Cottage Master laughed when he saw it and asked what kind of statement was I trying to make. "I have a black thumb and a bad back" was my answer.
You can tell by the grayness of these photos that we are having a gray and dreary day. One of those days where it is always drizzling and never sunny for which the Pacific NW is famous. We who live here try to perpetuate the myth that it is ALWAYS like that here to discourage others from moving here and making it crowded.
Snowball trees are supposed to bloom in the spring but I noticed the tree next to the house seems to be a bit confused.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wallpaper story part two. . .

Thank you for all of the suggestions about removing unwanted wallpaper. I should have mentioned that I am no stranger to this process.

During the late 1970’s I happily wallpapered no less than 4 large rooms in our home and in the late 90’s unhappily removed every inch of that wallpaper when it came time to sell the house.

I scored and applied water and fabric softener and/or some rather expensive glop that I purchased from the home improvement center with varying degrees of success. I know that satisfaction of hitting upon just the right combination and being able to peel large portions of paper off at a time.

So, when I stepped up to my current dining area wall it was with confidence that something in my past experience and bag of tricks would work. However, I didn’t realize that I was dealing with the wallpaper straight out of a horror film. It either was applied so expertly that it was intended to be firmly attached to the wall for the archeologists to uncover 2,000 years from now or so poorly applied that it has become a permanent part of the wallboard.

This, by the way, is not your ordinary sheetrock wall. I’m not sure what was used to create that curved wall but maybe when I get more of the paper off we can tell what was used to build it.

Now on to another adventure at Quirky Cottage. Our next door neighbor was informed that she needed to hire a professional exterminator to eliminate the termites, beetles and ants from under her home. I have seen the white panel van in her driveway for the past two days and can assume that the work is being done.

Tonight, as I sit in my cozy chair, I have had to brush off from my bare arm and ended the lives of two ants . The first one I gave little thought about but when I saw the second one my own antennae of suspicion was raised. Do you suppose that rather than exterminating the critters from under her house all they did was chase them over here? I will have to keep a watchful eye out for the next few days. Maybe this is the proprietor’s way of drumming up more business.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

With a little help from my friends

I mentioned to Aunt Lucille that I was taking my wallpaper off inch by inch and she told me about a wonderful product named Wallwik and gave me the Internet link to view the product in a demonstration.
After watching the short video online I ordered it on the spot. Now I am eagerly awaiting the UPS delivering person to bring it to my doorstep.
It isn’t cheap but if it works even half as well as the video shows I’ll be happy. Heads up to my friend SA who has promised to help me with this project – help is on the way.