Decorating a-go-go

I may have mentioned this more than once, but we’ve been living here in this house for almost 20 years.  We moved in the first day of November, 2000 and were renting the house at that time.  About a year later the people that owned the house made us an offer well below what they had the place listed for.  My wife and I at that time were still both working (she retired in 2006) and getting a mortgage from a ‘brick and mortar’ bank was proving elusive.  Online banking was in its infancy, and we decided to go that route instead.  We inputted our combined earnings with one of the fledgling startup mortgage companies and wonder of wonder, we got approved.  They sent us the requisite paperwork, our percentage rate wasn’t too bad, and it was agreed to be a 30 year note.

Before we finished purchasing, we had a company called ‘Pillar to Post’ go over the house and property, so as to give us an idea of what exactly we were getting into.  Granted we knew the house was built in the 1830s, so it was bound to have certain quirks, and we already had been living here for a little over a year, so some of those quirks were already known to us (sadly, the bats were discovered about a month after the sale was finalized.  Would have been better to know about them beforehand) though the inspector gave us some other things to consider and discuss with the sellers before everything was signed and monies were paid.

One of the things we thought was a little weird was, before we were able to occupy the house, the owners decided to paint just about every room in the house white.  The only rooms they left alone were ones that either had paneling, wallpaper, or a combination of the two.  Consequently, as we were never able to decide what color to paint any room of the house, we’ve pretty much lived with mostly white walls.  Over the course of our time too, we’ve not hung too many pictures, and what ones we have, have been a bit haphazard to say the least.  In the hallway there’s a piece of signed artwork from Berkeley Breathed.  It’s a print of the comic strip Bloom County, from 2015 when he decided to start drawing the comic again after a hiatus of about 25 years.  He’s continuing to draw them, but he’s relegated his postings to Facebook, and not newspapers.  So he doesn’t have to be required to ‘toe the line’ of publishers, in essence he’s self-publishing his work.  It seems to be working out the better for him.

Getting back to the topic at hand, we really haven’t had much time or money to do anything with the interior of the house, most of our time and expense has been with the exterior.  Getting a new vehicle put a dent in our money set aside of repairs and upgrades for the house, so perhaps this year we may not get the new furnace we were thinking about, perhaps just a coat of paint for the outside parts that aren’t brick.  A lot of the fascias and soffetts could use a coat of paint, the garage needs some work inside and out, and the bathrooms could use a major upgrade.

Lots of work to be done here.  Just have to set aside the money and time to get it all done.

Final Touches

I’m thinking that we’ve finally finished buying flowers and plants for our respective gardens and plots around the property.  I’m thinking also that I’m about ready to situate the roto-tiller for the year into a corner of the garage, so that it will be ready for use next year.  We did errands on Wednesday, going to our usual ‘go-to’ greenhouse, who are having their ‘end-of-season’ sale before closing for the year.  Unfortunately, they had closed early for some reason, but will be open on Friday.  Not to be outdone, there’s another greenhouse on the other side of town we could check out, and they have ice cream.

While we were out, we also did some grocery shopping.  Normally I prefer to do my shopping by myself, without the wife, because she likes to wander around the store, and gets lost.  (I call it “lost”, she’s just browsing and tends to lag behind)  Me, knowing where just about everything in the store is, can get in and out in record time.  Even so, there are times when I take a little longer at the store, seeing people that I work with and engaging in conversation with them about this or that.  Generally when I shop with the wife, it’s on an off-day from work, so things might have happened in the intervening 18-20 hours that I was unaware of.  Too, there are times during my vacation where I shop at the store, so the conversation tends to be a little longer at that point, much to the wife’s consternation.  So the pendulum swings both ways.

Insofar as being done with the gardening, at least the major getting ready and planting parts are completed.  The beds have been prepped, tilled, graded, weeded (initially) and planted.  We purchased five bags of mulch from Lowes several weeks ago, and finally got them spread in the last couple of days.  Added to the bag and a half that was saved from two years ago, the ones that were stored under the stairs, we’re still probably about a bag or two short of what we really need to keep the weeds at bay.  Having looked up the ratio of thickness of mulch to weed suppression, its been suggested on more than one site that a depth of 3-4 inches is ideal, and we’re nowhere close to that.  A basic layer of about an inch in most places is about the best we could do with 6 1/2 bags.  Too, there are several areas that haven’t been mulched at all, considering it’s where the knotweed is most prevalent.  More than likely that’s going to be left to its own devices for the time being, and possibly for the remainder of the season.

My idea of getting a second wheelbarrow got shot down in the afternoon, the wife has decided that she wants to not only fix her old one, she wishes to repaint it before the summer is over as well.  My suggestion wasn’t with the idea of replacing the one we have, that she inherited from her parents (along with the roto-tiller I just finished fixing) just giving it a little respite, considering its age.  Even so, she almost had a nutty about the whole idea, so I just dropped it.  Perhaps her idea of the JB-Weld she’s getting from Amazon will work.  If not, I have a back-up plan that involves taking it to a metal fab place near here and see if they’re able to weld the handle back together.  It’s worth a shot.

I was intending to have pictures here when this posts, but I will have to add them in later.  I didn’t take any this afternoon when I got finished and it rained before I could get back out to document the ‘finished product’.  That will have to wait for the next day.

Off to bed, some of us work weekends.

 

Wrestling Rut

Monday evenings television watching has been in a rut for the last several years.  Tuesdays too, if the truth be known.  Generally we eat dinner at 8 pm, which for many is considered ‘late’, but we don’t have children (not the human kind) and I’ve been lax for many years and that’s when we eat.  When we eat, we watch television, like many families do.  I remember growing up we didn’t watch when we ate, we ate as a family, in the kitchen, and the television was in the family room, although in my parents’ house, the family room and the kitchen were adjoining.  Basically one large room from one side of the house to the other.  I visited the property in 2017 and was able to peek into the bay window that exposed to the backyard and that’s still the case.  Sure there’s a skylight that wasn’t present when I was living there, but the new owners have effected several changes in the time that it’s been owned by others.  For better or worse.

Presently, for the past say ten years, we watch pro wrestling on Monday nights.  Granted it’s my preference, not my wife’s but we compromise.  She likes to watch reality competitions like Survivor, TopChef, Hell’s Kitchen, Project Runway (et al) and I suffer through them just like she suffers through the wrestling shows.  Too,  I like to watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and she can’t stand ‘Lard Weasel’, but again she suffers for my sake, just like I do for her and her shows (I particularly detest RuPaul’s Drag Race and Below Deck, but again, it’s for a good cause)

The last several weeks however, I’ve been getting a little tired of the pro wrestling and have been seeking out other things to watch that aren’t the ‘same ol, same ol’ plotlines and conjured violence and drama that has been the WWE lately.  Matter of fact this past Monday I switched to the National Geographic channel and their relatively new series ‘Drain the Ocean’.  It’s where they do a detailed workup of a certain section of water (ocean, river, or some body) and investigate what might have become of whatever they’re looking at.  The 8 pm episode detailed certain areas of New York’s harbor, from a time during the American Revolution, to the 19th century in the midst of the Industrial Revolution.  They even took a crack at the wreck of a steamer called SS Oregon, that was supposedly sunk by a German sea mine in 1918.  Very heady stuff and very interesting for someone who is a historical buff like myself.

There have been other episodes, dealing with infamous ships like Titanic and Bismarck, as well as lesser known ships like the one that was discovered near the original footprints of the Twin Towers post 9/11.  That particular ship was theorized to be a river barge owned (or merely used) by the Royal Navy around the time of the American Revolution, as the timbers were dated to the tree having been felled about 1773.

Honestly, I haven’ t been missing watching the mindless pap of pro wrestling.  Too, there’s been a brouhaha about a new wrestling outfit called AEW that will (this coming fall) be directly challenging WWE for supremacy in the business.  Not a bad thing, since McMahon and company could do with a bit of competition.  They’ve been the ‘big dog’ out there with their monopoly for too long, and I think their product has become very stale.  There was a time about ten years ago when I stepped away from watching them religiously every week, and I think I’ve come to that tipping point again.  Certainly there are ways to keep up with what’s going on with it, via online and on YouTube, and if I’m overly interested, I can read about the various storylines if I wish to.  But on Monday and Tuesday nights, I think I’m going to be watching other things.  More interesting ones.