Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Grüße aus Deutschland!

Yes, I'm in Germany. I'm visiting friends and relatives for a couple of days. And so far it's been great. Even though it rained all day today. that's not fun. But I do need to back up a bit and catch people up.
So last week Watsuki moved into the third floor! I have a tennant! Yay!
And then last weekend my cousin from Germany, who was working in Lancaster for a few weeks came to visit on Friday and Saturday. We haven't seen each other in something like 15 - 20 so it was interesting to see him, catch up, hear about the family - and we "skiped" with his mother and father (my mother's cousin). Okay - that is way coool. Now I've got to figure out how to get into that. Watch out Daddy - you will probably be the first one who will get roped into this.... :)
Anyway - I took Marc-Michael on a Mural tour of West Philly. Saw neighbor hoods I'd never seen before - saw Murals I'd never seen before which were amazing. So that was awsome.
And then it turned out that it was strawberry time at my Amish Farmer. Of course I had to buy a flat before I went to Germany to be sure I had a chance to make strawberry jam. I put Marc-Michael to work. - he was very good at quartering the fruit. We got some very nice jam out of all of the work - and he took two jars home.
Now I'm here in Mainz which family friends which is great. Dietlind and I ran around in the city today and this time instead of buy heaps of wool, I'm going to buy some shoes:
Dietlind is desperately trying to convince me to buy a golden pair. (I can't steel the image so click here to link to the website - okay just tried to put a link in and it won't give me a link to the shoe I want to show you, just to the home page! Grr) They are super comfy but they are gold... yeah, enough said. And then.... they are really really cool, and they looked so good with what I was wearing. I could have worn them. Ugh - decisions.
In the meantime - my book arts friends: How do you like this? Hans (Dietlind's husband) must have the worlds smallest board shear:
I'm so jealous.

Ps: for this post - the spell check insists on being in German (because I'm on German internet service???) - so of course everything is highlighted. I'll fix it when I get home, if I remember.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Major Misshap

I spilled/broke a bottle of black nail polish in my bathroom. Now it wouldn't have been so bad if it would have just dropped and broken leaving a big black oozing puddle on the tile. Instead it hit the edge of the toilet, broke the neck of the bottle which then spun around, flinging nail polish in all directions before it shattered on the floor. Needless to say - there are tiny black drops of stuff everywhere! I think I'll probably be finding them for years to come. sigh.
Well - at least it comes off with acetone.
This is a project for tomorrow. My friend Babette has been here for the weekend from Australia. We've had a blast! Australians are wonderful people. They are tenacious, positive, happy, and enjoy good conversation. Babette did a residency in North Carolina before coming up the east coast to see me (!) and family. It's been lovely having her here and I'm going to miss her when she's gone.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Anniversary to me!

Yup - signed my life away - two years ago today. I can hardly believe it. But I sure don't regret it. I love this house. Love living here - and slowly, very slowly things are falling into place. I'm getting some important things done, and some things I want to get done. Things are good.
The first update is the 3rd floor. Time for before and after pictures:
The ugly green room before: and after: It looks beautiful. I just have to put the molding in. But first I have to finish painting the baseboards in the bedroom and the hall, and put the molding into the bedroom. That required another trip to that orange do-it-yourself store I am single-handedly keeping in the black. I bought ANOTHER 5 gallons of white eggshell paint. Hopefully this will do me for a while. Lugging 5 gallons up to the 3rd floor is a different matter all together. 5 gallons isn't exactly light! I also had to purchase a few miles of blue tape to do the baseboards, and an electrical cover. I'm starting to do pretty well at my local store. I can find almost everything without having to ask an orange apron.
This past week I worked really hard on the 3rd floor. Finished that front room, painted the hallway and prepped the molding.
On Friday I was able to get out in the yard and finally finish that back part. I had to go out there in full regalia, since I couldn't track down a hazmat suit. Jeans tucked into my socks, longs leave shirt head scarf and hope that I didn't encounter any more poison ivy, although I'm beginning to suspect it was actually poison sumac. I found some of that back there. I'm on my third day of prednezone and it seems to be working. I'm not itching as much as I was before. But my friend was telling me she had the same thing and that it had entered her blood stream and she was getting the mirror image on both sides of her body. Well, I definitely have that! Ugh. I'm also slathering on the Benadryl cream and following up with Tea Tree salve. It's working pretty well. But, well, in the mean time, ...
Jacques is thrilled that I cleared all of that brush from the back there. Can you guess why?
It is the perfect place to take lots of dust baths. Lots of them.
And... my kitty has decided he can climb chain link fences. I discovered this when I wasn't paying enough attention to him because I was talking to my neighbor through her chain link fence. So he went to the back area, and as though it was a ladder, just stuck his paws in between the links and "walked" up to the top. Then he had to show off is balancing act of walking around on the top pole. !!! I'm not making this up.
So what's next? I get to re-clear the other side of the back because it's all growing back again. Yay me. I planted a bunch of seedlings yesterday as well. Let's hope they take.

For all of you mothers out there - happy mother's day. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

What I have to show for it.

In my last post I talked about working more in the garden.
I scooped up about five large trash bags full of stuff. Three bundles of wood, two more giant bundles of evergreen boughs, and lot of weeds and dandelions. And even though I still have a bit more to do, I was feeling pretty good about it all. Until.....
In the middle of the night on Saturday night I woke up scratching myself. I've gone through this before, I scratch until I break the skin. So in my delirium of sleep I thought - well - what if I slap myself instead? Maybe it will stop itching. It did and I went back to sleep. Great idea right?
Sunday morning I woke up to about five inches of bruising and more itching and scratching.
I painted in 90 degree heat that was building to a thunderstorm with long sleeves because anytime I touched my arms I would scratch.
This morning I woke up and not only were my arms still itchy, but my legs started itching. I threw in the towel went to the doctor.
I now have a dose of a steroid, prednesone, to help fight my nice little case of poison ivy. Lucky me.
Since I still have more to do in the garden, think I'll do it in a hazmat suit. Anyone know where I can get one?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

3rd Floor Bathroom? check.

Remember this? Now it looks like this.
SO much better. ¿que no?
And now to tackle the last hideous color left in the house... the green room:
There it is in all it's glory with no flash - yes, that's how dark it is.
And below is an image with the flash so you get a good idea of the color. Lovely.
Seriously, what are people thinking?
I also worked in the garden on Friday for quite a few hours. Slowly slowly I'm managing to clear things away in between keeping everything else from taking over. I have a tray full of seedlings that need to be put in the ground soon.
There are a ton of morning glories, poppies, Shasta daisies, cock's comb, columbine, three different types of sunflowers, echinacea, hollyhocks, sweat peas, cosmos..... can't remember what else. Can't wait for them to bloom - they will be lovely.