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I took this whole week off work to finish ALL my home projects. Then I heard No.5 Bro is coming into town with his wife. They’ll be here all week. Parties will be scheduled. Dinners, brunches, picnics, cards. Projects will have to be fit into the gaps, much as they are during the regular work week.

No.5 and wife will arrive late tonight (Monday), so I had yesterday and today to do projects.I have a water spigot on the front of the house and one on the back. With the help of a 14 inch length of pipe, I was able to turn on the water in the back. I can’t even see the lever for the front. It’s all tucked behind the water softener. Or as I explained to my sisters, the salt machine. You know, the salt machine that makes water good? They were able to figure it out.

I linked together 2 hoses and ran them from the back spigot to the front of the house. Not quite long enough. So I ran to the hardware store AGAIN (the first time was for the pipe) and bought another hose. I linked the 3 hoses and added the power wash nozzle. Then I saw this:



Damn vandals! Unscrewing doorbells and running away! Kids these days! Why, when I was a youngster….wait a minute. The entire door frame has been freshly painted. Oh, the association must have sent someone out to do repairs. Cough, cough, well…I’m a little embarrassed by my reaction. So glad I didn’t call the police.

For a brief moment I toyed with the idea of replacing the doorbell because it’s butt-ugly. I knew that that would turn into a several hundred dollar project with the potential for serious injury, so I just fastened the doorbell back on (the screws were sitting nearby).

Then I power washed the entire front entry. The light still needs a little scrubbing. Apparently, it’s been a birdie rest stop. Eww. I took a picture, but I won’t include it here. I do have SOME boundaries!

Today, No.2 Sis came over to help me continue painting the patio chairs. The chairs look awesome! We haven’t even started the table yet. Between coats of paint, we worked on cleaning the house. We took out 3 bags of recycling and 1 bag of garbage. I also packed 2 more bags for donations, mostly clothes. It’s getting easier and easier to decide what to wear in the morning! That puts my count at 137. Sweet!

I promise I’ll post some pictures when I finish cleaning the entry and put some flowers out. I’ll also put the rug, chairs and pillow on the patio for a half-way there photo. No table, lanterns or flower pots yet. If I wait until it’s 100% done, you may not see it for a long, long, LONG time!

Stay tuned…

P.S. I almost forgot, we (meaning Sis) replaced the old, flimsy Throne Room toilet seat with a sturdy new one (buy here)! Yay, cross one more thing off the list!

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!



Pillow Talk

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I am so proud of me. It’s really hard for me to get rid of pillows, sheets and blankets. With the two pillows I threw out last weekend and all the sheets and blankets I’ve donated, I’m down to what’s on the bed and in the blanket chest.

When we were growing up, crazy horde that we were, we each had one pillow and one blanket to last us through our childhood and adolescence. No matter how flat the pillow got, or how holey the blanket, that was it. We also had five girls sleeping in one tiny bedroom. There was a built-in bunk under each eave, and a triple bunk on the third wall. The little kids, myself included, slept on the triple bunks, and the older girls got the bunks under the eaves. But I digress. Back to the pillows and blankets.

When No.2 sis came to bed, I was already fast asleep in the middle bunk. She would yank away my flat pillow and holey blanket to supplement her own meager bedding. I would never wake up. I’d just curl up into a little shivering ball for the rest of the night.

When No.1 sis got married at 17 and moved out, she took her clothes and her flat pillow. Dad marched right over to her apartment and took the pillow back. How dare she steal a family heirloom!

And when No.4 Sis’ daughter asked for a new pillow to replace her inherited flat one, my Sis told her that pillows were expensive and they couldn’t afford new ones. What else would she think, growing up as we did? When Sis and daughter went to Target and saw how cheap pillows really were, Sis apologized profusely to her daughter and bought them each brand new pillows.

So you can see where I came by my bed linen hoarding. I didn’t even hoard nice linens, just thin old sheets and holey blankets. Goodwill might not even be able to use them for anything but rags. Now I have a nice set of summer sheets and a nice set a flannels for winter (a gift). I bought two new bed pillows. I have an oldish white coverlet and an oldish green coverlet. I have a nice queen size blanket (a gift). I have a couple of afghans (gifts). Okay, I can see a pattern here. I don’t have to rely on the kindness of friends and family to cover my bed, although I appreciate their generosity. I think it’s time to buy luscious new blankets and coverlets to go with the new pillows. Bedding fit for a Queen!

Stay tuned…



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Remember, a couple of posts ago I packed boxes 128 and 129 full of old paint? Well, they didn’t go right to the toxic waste drop-off. I decided I needed to write down the manufacturer, color and finish of all the paints before I got rid of them. Otherwise, I’ll never be able to touch up the baseboards, walls and front door, among other things. So I unpacked the boxes, wrote everything down, and repacked the boxes. Unfortunately, the drop-off site is open only a few days per week, so it will be at least half a week before I get them good and truly gone.

Meanwhile, I’ve started another bag of clothes to go to the Goodwill, but that isn’t full yet. But I gave a box of stuff to No.2 Sis (won’t her husband be happy?) and I filled another garbage bag of lumpy, old bed pillows for the garbage. That brings me to 131 bags, boxes and small pieces of furniture. Still pluggin’ away.

I spent most of the weekend in southern Minnesota, at my BFF “G”‘s farm. The farm has a name, but I don’t remember what it is. It’s in Lakota. I’ll have to work hard to memorize it phonetically, because I don’t speak Lakota. Yes, “G” is white, but not translucent, so she’d probably fit in better on the “rez” than I would. (See previous post).

Have you ever had that love-at-first sight feeling? I have had it 3 times in my life. Once when I saw my first cat as a week-old kitten, once when I saw my nephew “B” for the first time, and the first time I saw “G”.

“G” and I both grew up as No.6 of 9 kids and we went to different Catholic grade schools. We first met in high school in 9th grade biology class. I took one look at her and said to myself, “I have to be her friend!” And we became the very best of friends, and still are after 42 years.


“G” and I went to a psychic palm reader for the first time about 30 years ago. The man told us we had spent many lives together. He said that our first life together had been about 3000 years ago, as Hun warriors on the Mongol steppes. We drank and gambled and whored together. We’d lived fast, died young and left good looking corpses. I believe it. It’s too much like our early 20’s to disbelieve. Fortunately, we settled down, so we won’t be dying young. Still good looking, though. 🙂

I find it funny that many people don’t believe in reincarnation because every woman says she was Marie Antoinette and every man was Napoleon Bonaparte. I’ve done about 8 regressions and I’ve never been anyone famous, or even high-ranking or important. In fact, I’ve had a lot of hard-working, back-breaking short lives.

“G” and I even did a regression to go back to the time of Jesus to see what we were up to then. Would we see ourselves as apostles, or Mary Magdalene, or John the Baptist?

I saw myself as a middle-aged man in the marketplace. I was there to sell my camel. I asked another man, “Who is that?”, pointing to a man speaking to a throng of people. The other guy said, “Oh, that’s Jesus of Nazareth. He’s a preacher.” I said, “Huh. Wanna buy a camel?”

“G” found herself as a Roman bean counter. Literally, she worked in a granary weighing bags of beans.She was unfulfilled and unhappy, and she had an unfulfilled, unhappy wife. Never heard of Jesus.

Still, people are going to believe what they’re going to believe. Although Dad was a stalwart Catholic, Mom had a much more open mind and exposed me to some radical (for a small Midwestern town) ideas. And for that, I’m very grateful. Thanks, Mom.

Stay tuned…

I Found My Peeps


I can’t seem to get the webinar for my on-line class to work, so I’m playing on the internet instead. I found this fascinating tool to determine what town you should be living in to be amongst your political soul-mates, your peeps.


Having lived in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis for the last 30 years, I know St. Paul is the conservative, introverted sister, and Minneapolis is the liberal, extroverted sister. I’m a liberal introvert who’s happy living in St. Paul, but I expected the results of this quiz to direct me to move to Minneapolis to be with more politically like-minded individuals. Imagine my surprise when the results indicated I would be happiest living in Red Lake, Minnesota, or several nearby towns that I had never heard of.

I looked at the map. Aha! The town of Red Lake and the other unknown towns are situated on the lake named Red Lake. And  the lake is situated on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. I knew it! My peeps are Native Americans! In high school, I’d accompany my friends to the library every chance I got. While they were studying or researching term papers (I never got into that stuff) I would read everything I could find on Native Americans. I read histories by Dee Brown and others, contemporary authors like Vine Deloria, Jr, and artists’ anthologies of tribal life, like painter George Catlin and photographer Edward S. Curtis.

So, to be amongst my political soul-mates, my people, I must move to Red Lake. No more biting my tongue when my neighbors quote Fox News and put Republican election signs up in their yards. I’ll be with my peeps.

The upside of being on the rez (I feel I can call the reservation the “rez”, since I’ll soon be living there) will be multi-fold. I can downsize and perhaps get a small house or trailer. My herbal studies are based primarily on Native American tradition, so maybe I can find a herbal practitioner to apprentice with. And there is a casino right there (hello, good times).

The downside….well, I’m white. So white as to be almost translucent. I certainly won’t blend in. I don’t speak Ojibwe; that could be a problem. The unemployment rate is about 35%. And there’s a casino right there (goodbye, savings).

But here’s the deal breaker: it’s 4.5 hours from my sisters, and 6.5 hours from my BFF “G”. No freakin’ way.

So I retook the quiz and changed the last answer to say I like urban areas, versus the truth, that I don’t like urban areas. The new answer? Minneapolis, of course.

Stay tuned…

P.S. I feel I should offer some clarification. I said in this post I don’t want to live in an urban area, and said in a previous post that I can’t see myself living in the country. I am definitely a middle-of -the road woman as far as lifestyle goes, and I’m happily ensconced in the suburbs. For that matter, the sisters I call my “City Sisters” are all suburban dwellers as well. The “Country Sisters” are actually rural. Both live on farms outside of any town’s borders.


Let There Be Light

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And Laurel said let there be light, and there was light. Laurel saw it, and it was good.

I finally connected with the electrician on Tuesday and he came right over that afternoon. He took the chandelier totally down and used my leftover wire to splice extra length onto my little wire nubbins. He hung the chandelier back up and flipped the switch. There was light, but only in two of the three bulbs. I moaned. No more problems! He screwed the third light bulb in tighter and it lit up. I hadn’t thought of that.

20 minutes and it was all done. Well, 20 minutes and $125. Plus the $130 I’ve spent at the chiropractor (so far). Hmmm, I’m a wee bit over budget. Totally worth it.

Builder fixture.

Builder fixture.



Note to readers: Voila is French for “looky here!”. Viola is a stringed musical instrument. Wallah…well wallah is just gibberish. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

The rest of the week was spectacularly unproductive on house cleaning or projects. Wednesday, I went to the chiropractor after work. Thursday, I stopped at Lowe’s and pick up more paint for the patio (small bit of progress, I guess). Friday, I tested my blood sugar and found it dangerously high. I spent 20 minutes on the phone with the nurse and then waited two hours for the doctor to call back. That never happened. While waiting, my blood sugar dropped to more normal levels, so I did a Tarot spread a friend had requested and e-mailed her my interpretation.

Today (Saturday) I’m going to two graduation parties. After that, I’ll tackle one of two lists. I have a “rain” list, and “shine” list. Thunderstorms are predicted all weekend, so I’ll probably be working on the indoor projects on the “rain” list. Time to finish the rest of the Throne Room!!!


Stay tuned…





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When I was looking for off-white paint for the ceiling medallion I pulled every can out of the back of the laundry room closet and opened them. Fascinating. I didn’t know paint could devolve into such a variety of sludges, oil slicks and moldy terrariums. I packed up 2 boxes for the toxic waste recycling center. That brings me to 129. I found out they’ll take TV’s too, but my big one is too heavy for me to lift by myself, and my little one is buried in the back corner of the Studio. I’ll get to them later.

Meanwhile, no further progress has been made on the chandelier installation in the Throne Room. No.8 Sis recommended a good electrician and I’ve called him 4 times. He answered the first time, but he didn’t set an appointment, and since then he’s ignored my calls. Perhaps I shouldn’t have described the situation so thoroughly, what with the tiny room and the even tinier wires. I should have left all of that as a surprise.

Since I’m pretty sure what the problem is with the chandelier, I’m tempted to give it a third try. I just don’t think my neck can take any more overhead work, though. It’s pretty messed up and my chiropractor, Dr. Doogie, will not be happy.

My neck problems started years ago, when I was in Catholic high school. Sr. Leo ran the school library and she was an unholy terror. There was to be absolutely no talking in the library, but I was quietly whispering to a friend when Sr. Leo sneaked up behind me. She lifted an unabridged dictionary high over her head and brought it down full force on my noggin. You know how when Wile E. Coyote gets hit by an anvil he gets all loopy and sees stars? That really happens. Me and my neck have never been the same.

The school sent me a fund raising letter a ways back. They wanted money to put a plaque in the library to honor Sr. Leo’s many years of dedicated service. Goddess, I hope that means she’s dead. I know, I know. I’m going to hell, but that’s where all my friends will be, so I’m okay with that.

Meanwhile, the entire Queen suite is in darkness, because it’s all on the same circuit. I may have to break down and just call an electrician from the yellow pages so light can be restored. Next time I’m just telling them they’re hanging a chandelier. Easy-peasy. Let them be surprised.

Stay tuned…


More Simple Steps to Hanging a Chandelier


I remember long ago, when I was a teenager, dusting the living room. I accidentally knocked over Mom’s 9 inch high replica of the statue “Apollo”. His head broke off. I confessed to Mom and she started crying. She accused me of doing it on purpose, and wailed how she could never have anything nice. I glued Apollo’s head back on, but he was never the same.

You may have noticed in my last post that Peggy’s arm is broken off. I’ll glue that back on, too. It’s my fault. I’m always distracted and thinking of 12 things at a time. My head is solving work/school problems from hours earlier, thinking of things I should have said to some slight, wondering what my dreams meant, fantasizing about the future, and if I have any brain cells left, I’m figuring out how to end world hunger.This makes a body clumsy. I’m sorry, Peggy. I’m sorry, Apollo. And I’m sorry, Mom.

Continuing on my clumsy adventures, here are the rest of the simple steps to hanging a chandelier:


32. Set up ladder. Watch out for that frisky doorknob.

33. Run an extension cord from another room and plug in work light. Clip light to ladder.

34. Call phone spotter. Instruct her to call for help if there’s a loud crash and then silence, or if you yell the code word “Rosebud”.

35. Remove cover from light fixture box.

36. Shorten chain by hanging chandelier on the next chain link. This will give you more wire to work with.

37. Pull more wire through the lamp nipple.

38. Reconnect the wires and replace the cover.

39. Reconnect the electricity.

40. Flip light switch on.

41. Witness a “pop” and a flash of light.

42. Grope your way out of the darkness and call a professional electrician.

Disclaimer: I will not assume any liability if you try this on your own. I am not a professional electrician, nor even a very talented amateur. Please, start at step 42, and call a professional.

Stay tuned…




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I went to see Dr. Doogie, the chiropractor, a couple of nights ago. I was really messed up from working overhead on that chandelier. She asked what I was doing after my appointment. I told her No.2 Sis was coming over and we were going to give the chandelier another try. She yelled, “NO! NO! I absolutely  forbid it! You have to sit in a comfy chair all evening, preferably with a Mojito. Doctor’s orders!” Okey dokey. I really, really like her.

No.2 Sis came over anyway and brought her 15 year old granddaughter. They worked on my little front garden around the tree (the tree’s name is Rocky 2). They worked their tushes off for 3 hours while I sat and watched. I forgot to take a before picture so I googled “thistles in grass”. I found this photo at looseandleafy.blogspot.com. It’s a pretty good representation of the “before” condition.


And here’s the after:


Rocky 2 and flowers.

They filled 2 bags full of weeds and such, but I won’t count them in the bag tally. It doesn’t seem right for some reason.  I fed No.2 Sis and my grandniece for their help, and I gave my grandniece some cash for Mormon camp. Just to clarify, I’m not a Mormon. I’m Geek Orthodox. I believe in The Force.

On the weekend, I figured I better stop decluttering and just CLEAN! Here’s the kitchen before, and after.



The dishes in the sink are washed and drying. The dishes on the counter didn’t fit in the dishwasher. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher after it ran, so it looks even better now. I filled 2 bags of garbage and 1 of recycling. I’m not sure if I should count those either, but I’m going to. That puts me at 127.

By the way, this is Peggy. She was a gift my BFF “V” brought me from Costa Rica. When my BFF “T” cleans she always faces her toward the kitchen.



I kind of like her facing the dining room, because it makes me giggle.

Don't look now, but Peggy's staring at you.

Don’t look now, but Peggy’s staring at you.

Stay tuned…