The other closet…

I must have been in some sort of painting groove yesterday because after I finished with the bathroom closet I started on one of our hallways closets.  We have two closets in the upstairs hallway.  One is a large linen closet, which I painted a long, long time ago.  The other is a closet that is about five feet wide and two and a half feet deep.  Large and useless without shelves.  It also needed a paint job because three of its four walls were torn up and put back together for the house re-wiring. 

Because it is so big and useless the only things I store in there are our bedroom air conditioner, our vacuum and a bag of clothes that are meant to be taken to the Salvation Army.  It could hold so much more, but it needs an organizational system.


The slope in the ceiling is going to present some problems with my shelving plans.

Again, me using up old paint.  This is also a Behr Flat but the color is called Butternut Wood.  It’s the color we used for our living and dining rooms.  When we were in the store picking it out, we thought it was brown.  But once we got it up on the walls it is what I like to call Israeli Army Green.



Closet painter…

No, I am not revealing my secret life as painter, I was actually painting closets yesterday.  Before we moved into the house last year, we painted every room in the place except for the downstairs bathroom (which we plan to demo to the studs) and the front entry hall.  We also did not paint any of the closets.  We needed to access the closets for running electrical wires and after that was done we were too excited about unpacking to paint them. 

Some time has now passed and I have a better eye for looking at what still needs to be done in the house.  For a 107 year old house, we have a ton of closet space.  The thing is, the closets are huge but lack shelves, so they end up being useless.  So I am going to build shelves for them and then we might be able to get organized.  But before I got building shelves, I need to paint the closets.  It’s easier when they are big and empty.

This is a view of the upstairs bathroom closet door.  It looks like it will be cute and organized when you open it up…

… but it’s not that at all.  Without shelves, all of our bathroom products are just sort of tossed in there.  This makes it impossible to just find the damn cough syrup when you need it.  But the closet is huge, so there is a whole lot of room for improvement.

I’m just using up the left over bathroom paint.  It’s Behr Flat in Skysail Blue.

Oh yeah, Rummy helped me paint.  Although it is always difficult to convince her that her head is not, in fact, a paint brush.

All finished, except for the shelves.  I’m thinking I’ll put at least two shelves in, maybe three.

The long weekend, final thought…

For my “categories” choices, I put my last several posts under “holiday” as well as a few other things.  But I never got around to mentioning in the posts that the long weekend was due to Memorial Day.  And I didn’t mention it because I am more than a little ashamed of myself that I didn’t do much reflecting on the sacrifice of our military, yesterday.  Well, I did hang our flag out front, but that never seems like enough.

I do think about it, the sacrifices, not to mention the bravery and honor of military service, but I don’t always do it on the official days.  I don’t think a picnic is the best way to celebrate the sacrifice of lives.  And I really meant to go to the Veteran’s Memorial Park here in our little city yesterday, but I don’t really want to go when other people are going to be there.  I’d rather go there when I can be alone in my thoughts and reflections.  I get teary when I think about what it must be like to die in the chaos of war.  Or what it must be like to lose a husband, son, daughter, father or mother in a war zone, so far away.  I don’t want to share those teary thoughts with other people who are probably at the memorial for a more up close and personal reason.

So, rather than eat a hot dog in the name of Memorial Day, I prefer to think about military sacrifice on a weekly, sometimes daily basis.  Or to say a prayer for a military family when the news is broken that they have lost someone.  Or to be grateful on an almost daily basis for the people who chose to fight in the American Revolution.  Or to mourn the losses on both sides in our Civil War.  To remember, where some others forget, that we lost people in Korea.  Or to think about what it must have been like to be drafted and sent off to die in a jungle far away while people back home called you a “baby killer”.  Or to think about the men and women who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Those are not potato salad thoughts.

The long weekend, part three…

This flower is new to us this year.  It’s called Scabiosa, I think.  Pretty purple flowers.  S picked it out.  She’s very good at choosing plants.  I’m better at choosing bushes, maybe.  At best, we compliment one another.

It was a stunningly beautiful weekend here in northeast Ohio.  The warm weather allowed us to spend a lot of time outside playing in the yard and working in the garden.  I also learned that if I wear an MP3 player while doing my solo yard work, I get so much more done.  I cut the grass, put in three arborvitea bushes, weeded around our trees, put bug killer in both the front and back yards and watered everything in about three hours on Saturday morning.  I was a total work horse with the aide of the MP3 and the Blackeyed Peas, among others.

That’s our blueberry bush which we planted last summer.  It was only about half this size when we bought it.  Birds or squirrels ate our three blueberries last July, but at least we got to see them before they were eaten.  This year I am going to figure out some way to protect the berries.

These are the blueberry blossoms.  I can’t wait for the actual berries.

Thanks to a protective ring of blood meal, the Burning bush is starting to make a comeback.

This is called False IndigoS picked it out last summer and it really didn’t do much.  But this year it has doubled in size and we finally got to see it bloom.

Here is a close up of the False Indigo.  This picture doesn’t really capture how cool the color is.

Here’s Rhoda… yes, that is what we call her.  She’s in bloom now.  She started blooming on Thursday and she has few more to open.


The long weekend, part two…

There is a new obsession here in the Renovations household.  It started a couple of years ago when we played a game at S’s parents house.  We thought about the game a lot and then finally asked S’s dad, Mr. S, to make the game for us, which he did and gave it to us at Christmas.  The weather has not been favorable for playing the game… until now.  Yes, we are a Cornholing household.  We love the Cornhole.  We are Cornhole obsessed.

 Sure, it sounds sort of dirty, but it’s really just bean bag tossing for adults.  You can buy sets for $100 bucks, but Mr. S made ours in his little workshop.  It is a Steelers theme, of course.

This is not an easy game.  The boxes are 27 feet apart.  The bean bags weigh about a half a pound each.  Within two or three innings, you will start to feel the burn in your throwing arm and down your back. 

There are rules for the games.  Lots and lots of rules.  And there are associations all over the country whose singular purpose is playing Cornhole.  The ACA, American Cornhole Association.  Our set is different than what is commonly used, so we have to play with different scoring guidelines.  We still play to 21 (which can take forever if you aren’t very good or if S decides to pitch with her left hand) but we give 2 points for a bag in the box and 1 point for a bag that hangs on the rim.

Cornholeis good, clean family fun.  Everyone should play.  But be forewarned…  Cornhole will bore your dogs.

They won’t even want to watch.  Although, every now and again Rummy would get interested and then try to eat bean bags that missed their target.


The long weekend, part one…

Here at the Renovations house, we love the long weekends.

Since we didn’t go anywhere or get invited to a single damned picnic* we found ourselves with plenty of time to catch up on household chores.

Like changing the fixture on our front motion detector light.  The old one was busted when Mr. S someone tossed ice off of the roof of the house and carelessly accidentally hit the light.  Sure, it still worked after one of the lights and the motion detector box were broken, but every time it turned on it made a sizzling noise which scared me.

Old light:

Generally speaking, I am the one who does the bulk of the work when changing light fixtures.  I don’t know that S is afraid (even though the power is shut off at the main box) I just think she isn’t sure of herself when it comes to electricity.  But this particular light fixture is 12 feet off of the ground and required our high ladder to change it.  I am petrified of heights.  I can suck it up and get it done, but I might not be able to get back down.  Thankfully, S volunteered to do the high work and I got to stay on the ground and talk her through it.

New Light:

It’s a white fixture which looks much better with our white trim.  And I got it at Wal-Mart for $9.  Not too shabby.

Rummy watched the whole process from the living room window.

The directions for the new light said that we should caulk around the electrical box after the light was attached.  I thought this was odd since I’d never had that direction before and none of our other outdoor lights is caulked…  but we did it anyway.  Mostly, I suspect, because S loves caulking.




*We were invited to a picnic in West Virginia, but it would have required too much time and effort to attend.

The Pic-Nic Store…

Me:  I cannot believe we weren’t invited to any picnics.

S:  Well, you don’t like being around people.  The last picnic we were invited to, you didn’t want to go.

Me:  But I went anyway.

S:  But you threw a tantrum on the way.

Me:  Yes, but I did go.  Besides, it’s only a tantrum if one is 4 years old.  If one is 30, it’s a protest.

S:  Whatever.  [under her breath] Tantrum.

Me:  Seriously, someone should have invited us over for a hot dog and some potato salad.  What’s so damned difficult about that?

S:  Um, you have to hang out with people generally so that they will then invite you over for specific events.

Me:  Picnics don’t count.  I would agree that if I were to be invited over for a dinner party, I should probably be regularly hanging out with the inviters.  You know, since they have to prepare a meal and host me for an evening around their dining room table.  More talking involved there which would be eased if we were more familiar.  But a picnic?  Seriously, they are the perfect events for inviting people you don’t usually hang out with.  Some hot dogs, some potato salad, a little chit-chat.  That’s easy.  And there would be more people around to spread the chit-chat.

S:  I could start making more friends at work…  Then we might get invited to parties.

Me:  Not parties.  Picnics.  Hot dogs and potato salad.  Maybe chicken.  And pasta salad.  Perhaps a Texas Sheet Cake for dessert.  Anyway, you already have friends from work and not one of them invited us to a picnic for today.  Screw ’em.

S:  We could have thrown a picnic and invited people over for hot dogs and potato salad…

Me:  We are currently grill-less.  And besides, us throwing a picnic is not the point.  I want a hot dog and some potato salad and someone should have invited us over for a picnic.

Later on, I was still fixated…

Me:  I want picnic food.

S:  We can go get some.  We can get some chicken at KFC and then go to the grocery store for some potato and pasta salads…

Me:  To much work.  I don’t want to have to drive around to collect my picnic foods.  Somebody should have invited us over for a picnic.

S:  Let it go, Dude, let it go.  Do you want to go get something to eat?

Me:  There should be a store…  You know, called The Pic-Nic store, where they have the chicken, hot dogs, potato and pasta salads and maybe some lunch meats all in one place.  You know, for people like us.

S:  You mean, a deli?

Me:  Um, no.  The Pic-Nic Store.  It’s totally different.

S:  Right…  So, what do you want for dinner?

Me:  Pizza.