Saturday, May 19, 2012

Being Supervised

Jacques is an excellent supervisor. Always from the best vantage point. On top of something is best. Here he is on top of three cinder blocks Wally still needs to pick up. This was the perfect place to watch me hang up laundry. It seems to also have the perfect amount of surface area for a 16lb. kitty too. Ahem - there's only a little bit hanging over the side.
 It also has a 360° view and brings me back to the perpetual question of why do cats have to sit on top of things? Especially paper? Anne-Maree's theory is that they know they are then .05mm higher up off the ground. So it explains perfectly why Jacques had to sit on the scrap paper I laid down to catch the drips of paint.
Clearly it's a much higher vantage point to survey One's domain. Especially after One has been supervising One's human paint the columns. An exhausting occupation to be sure.
You can clearly see the corner column here with no paint on it. It now has a least one coat of paint. Then we all got tired and hungry so we gave up. The job will be finished tomorrow.  So that makes 1 1/2 columns that got painted today, a lot of sighing about how much else should be painted (railings, spindles, touch up on columns - all of which will involve sanding and primer), not to mention the actual deck which needs to be wood-filled (all of the holes), stained and water proofed.
 That's going to mean a lot of exhausting hours of supervising!

There is also the issue of the last of the painting I can't get to. I clearly stated that I did not want a patch work job done on my house. 
But after an email exchange - fears were alleviated - that's just a bit more primer. Andrew will be back to put an actual matching coat on.

And what I'd like to get to the most is cleaning up this walkway. It is a mess! 
 Sand everywhere, weeds need to be controlled, bricks and wood scraps need to be pulled out, and I'll probably have to replace the lattice work. I don't actually like the lattice work - so if anyone has suggestions - let me know. 
 The plan right now is to dig up the row of bricks closest to the porch and move them to the other side of the path. A HUGE amount of work - I am aware. However - this is the best patch of sun during the summer. It would be perfect for tomatoes. So I am thinking of putting a bunch of fertilizer down and then planting them. They will have to fight with the raspberries and hollyhocks for space but - I think they can old their own. Well I sure hope so. 

In other garden news - the roses by the deck have bloomed. I can't wait to be able to put Tenant's bicycles back on the porch and replant all of those bulbs!
 The other rogue rose sprig: This one will probably move as well. Maybe I'll plant it by the back of the porch. That would be nice - having roses by the front entrance and then by the back of the porch as well. Hmm - we'll have to see how ambitious I am this summer. 
Finally, look! Baby blueberries!  Last year someone (a raccoon I think) got most of them. Maybe I'll have more luck this year?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

So close

Happy Mother's Day everyone! I hope it is a beautiful day wherever you are. Here in sunny Philadelphia (well, for today), the weather is absolutely gorgeous. 80 degrees and lovely.  Goslings are down by the river, primroses are coming up and the bees are buzzing.

All of my news is as it has been for 2012 - great and awful. It has been THE roller coaster ride of my life. 
Start with the great news:
My porch is so close - so close to being done. I still have a ton of work to do on it - but at least it will pass inspection now. Check it out! No more struts! But you can clearly see what still needs to be finished - the railings need to be fixed. Andrew will be coming for that on Monday (he says.) I really hope so - I am ready for this to be over.
There are some wonderful improvements - not least of which is the front step. It is not a mile higher than everything else. Just a normal step now. 

Jacques approves. He enjoys walking along his new porch, rolling around in the left over sawdust.

Andrew had new posts turned for the porch as well. They match exactly which is great. I was envisioning something awful and patchwork-looking. But these are exactly the same. I just have to paint them. So sometime this week I need to go to Home Depot and get the matching paint.

There is also the matter of the clean up - Andrew needs to take some, Wally needs to take some - I am looking forward to getting everything back in order where I can mow the lawn correctly.

It was also the four year anniversary of my owning my house this week. I can't believe it. Four years. That's as long as high school! In honor of that, I'm including one of my most favorite features of my house, the roses in the front. They are blooming, like clockwork this time of year. 

Blogger has reformatted their posting page and it doesn't work the way it used to so I am fighting with things a little bit here. I hope everything comes out legibly.
The other big repair has also finally happened - the ceiling on the first floor has been repaired. Can I get a hallelujah!
Here it is freshly finished. Since this picture was taken - it has dried considerably and is almost white. I still have paint before the inspection people come but that shouldn't be too much trouble. Lots of work - but not too much trouble. Wally also put more tar and sealant on the 2nd floor windows. Cross your fingers that this is it for a while up there.
I have done some knitting - although in this case it is crocheting:
Here's my new sweater. It is beautiful alpaca. My aunts take an upholstery class with a lady that raises alpacas and sells their fur. This is the natural color of the animal. Stupidly, I plowed ahead with this pattern thinking I had enough yarn... nope. Not even close. Thank goodness the lady was able to track down more of the same color! I am so grateful. It is really beautiful and warm - so warm. I love it.
In other bad new - or just the craziness of living in West Philly -my car was broken into on a Sunday morning. Know what they took? Three boxes of kitty litter and a large package of toilet paper. No the change, nothing from the glove box... kitty litter and toilet paper. !!!??? What? Someone told me it was probably junkies looking for anything. They saw this in the back of my car and went for it. I can just see it now - there's some guy in a trench coat under the freeway going - "Yo - psst - hey buddy - check it out - I got toilet paper - $5 bucks a roll (opens his trench coat and inch)." Boy people have to be pretty desperate.

I started the process of getting the glass fixed and of course it turns out that they didn't just break the glass they also broke the retracter - so that's extra fun for repairs.