I painted this wall red for awhile, but I didn’t like it. Too garish. So I went back to off-white.
Brown carpet, though unforgivable, is understandable. Most dirt is from the
The walls? I think the intention was to paint them taupe, but taupe is a tricky one. It can easily lean in many directions from orange to purple
But it’s better than Pickled.
The woodwork was pickled. The pickled wood fashion has come and gone several times during the 70-odd years this building has existed. I didn’t like it any of those times. It’s when you take the warmth of wood and wash it out with some white stuff that makes it look like it’s been in a pickle jar for eons. I’m not a fan,
Then there was the carpet. Every time I walked from the living room into the hall leading to bedrooms and bath, I could feel a tiny transition in the floor under the carpet and pad. Yes, I have Princess Toes. They could feel a pea under a carpet, apparently. I knew that this transition probably held a secret stash of hardwood flooring
Now, I’m all about cozy and
Carpet? Under which there’s a room-sized sponge soaking up every dust particle, microscopic critter and drop of liquid, including bodily fluids, that ever come in contact with the floor from now until tear-out. What ARE you thinking? Let’s save ALL the disgusting spills for the next 25 years so we can smell them while they decompose. I guess that’s why Glade was invented.
So, in the winter of 2016 starting cautiously with a tiny corner in the hallway between the bedrooms, I tore out all the carpet and its accompanying sponge. Out! Out! Damn sponge. I took pictures but the )*A&)#(*$ camera I was using
Utility knife. Check. Pry bar. Check. LARGE garbage bags. Check. Off we go, cutting the carpet, woven in an endless loop which comes apart like one long ramen noodle and refuses to be cut by even the sharpest of utility knives. Annoying. But still fun. Along the walls are nail strips that pop off with the pry bar. But THEN the nightmare staples.
Dear Flooring Guys,
Do you honestly think that the weird speckled foam stuff that you put under carpet is going to grow
Lit-TleFoam Feet and run away from home? Do you think that three staples per inch are necessary to hold it in place? Did you expect that Jave Baez would be practicing base sliding throughout this apartment?
Staplesstaplesstaplesstaples. All over. Stuck into the beautiful oak floors. I have no idea what Ann and Kory downstairs thought I was doing, but eventually, I removed every stitch of carpet and threw it onto the balcony outside. It eventually found a home in the dumpster out back. Yay.
The staple holes add character.
The Living Room floor however, was made of plywood.
So I painted it.
White. Nice contrast to the black of the cat, don’t you think?
A notable lack of brown. Ahhhhh.
In fall of 2012 massive upheavals took place in my life and I moved into this apartment building. That’s Ella reigning over the lawn this past fall while she was staying with me during her parents’ (Kent and Brenda) visit to Oklahoma. I realized I’d never taken a photo of the outside of the building so snapped a quick one.
At Christmas, Ansel drove up with his dog,
It’s a solid old building with its share of quirks, but I have become very fond of it. My space is on the south side, so has windows facing east, south and west. Very sunny. THAT is the therapy part.
Who keeps those things filled? Yet they always stand at the ready when the stressed cop or CEO needs a stiff one.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Ha! Mr. Rogers’s mom was a wise woman. Google Doodle today was about Mr. Rogers, the TV personality who died in 2003. Above is one of his quotes. I guess
Everything about today was kind of impulsive (not to be confused with
Hmm, methinks. This is an excellent opportunity to test the flooring I’ve been researching: Congoleum Carefree. (The painted concrete idea, while ok, wasn’t a rousing success because it weeps during very humid summer days thereby molding the rugs and causing enough moisture to make the floor slippery. Dehumidifer can only do so much.) I can see how the flooring survives the winter by laying it in the closet. It floats, so if the cold damages the product, I can pick it up and toss it.
Congoleum warns that this product needs to be at 65 degrees or above at all times. Right. Well, he who obeys the rules gets stuck with mainstream stuff resulting in a Generic House. Maybe Congoleum will be interested in the results of my research. Although I doubt it.
So instead of immediately exchanging desks, I drove to Menards to buy a box of the flooring. I also bought this stuff called DMX Underlayment that’s supposed to let moisture evaporate due to its Patented Air Circulation Wondrousness. I put that down under half the flooring (also against the Rules) and laid the rest on the bare concrete. I’d like to use the underlayment because I’m hoping for warmth, so as September cools down, I’ll have my toes do a review.
SO. While I’m wandering the aisles of Menards — always dangerous — I see this on sale:
How could I resist? I bought the same item in a double version for Brenda’s birthday and we’ve been having a blast with it. So, I blew it up — that would be inflated it — and took it for a spin. Lots of fun for $49.
So, when I ripped the old shower out of the “shower house”, as it was called then, I really liked the way the space opened up. In fact, I had thought of making it into a bunkhouse or kind of a tiny home, but I couldn’t finagle a bed in there unless it was standing up. I thought guests might complain. But WHOA! Once I removed the plastic stand-alone shower, there were copious possibilities for my little shack.
Next, I bought a little portable building in which to put tools, nails, screws and presumably lawnmower and pressure washer, but the two last ones were pushed out by whatever-the-hell-is-taking-up-all-the-space and continue to reside under the deck.
Once the place was empty, I painted, spruced, cleaned and got Orkin to evict the mice who’d been living there for generations. That was in 2016. Then! Then it struck me that I should put the shower outside. It would be easy for me to plumb it into the back side of the building because there’s water there already AND a water heater. HA! Hot showers in nature.
I thought I would just build a little platform and put a new plastic stand-alone shower out there. It would look kind of ratty being all white, but I had some ideas. Well. Justin Pistohl who did the siding on the house and shower house surprised me with this new cedar shower. He texted
It’s really hot. I seldom go into the water unless I’m really hot. And I was really hot after watering the flowers, so I waded around the shallow end for a few minutes. Since a clean shoreline is a happy shoreline I am in the habit of removing floating weeds and debris (Coke cans are numerous. Lots of Coke freaks on Trego Lake, I guess.)
I pulled out a raft of floating branches and this handsome dude on YouTube told me it was a willow. He also told me how to propagate it. I’ve wanted to plant willows for some time now, as they grow fast and I like to watch them when it’s windy. So, I cut the wayward willow branches into 10-inch pieces per the Handsome Guy and put them in water.
This past spring, I bought six bare-root willows from Farmer Seed Company and they are definitely dead. Maybe these will work. No doubt they lived somewhere upstream successfully.
*An obscure reference to the movie Willow, which we watched 487 times when the boys were small. Mostly at Grandma Sheahan’s house because she had it on VHS. The only other choice in VHS movies was a National Geographic special on hairless cats.
UPDATE: I was gone for a few days (all over Wisconsin and the U.P.) and when I came home I thought the whole experiment was a bust. The leaves all fell off and the water was scummy. BUT, once I gave it fresh water, I see that there are new leaves and lots of roots.
They’re all good (even on cloudy days) but this morning I hadn’t even wiped the cobwebs from my eyes when I noticed the sun was an orange ball through the trees.