So, getting your house roofed is not so fun. It’s noisy, lots of thumps and banging that make my grand-dog bark. Things fall from the sky – or so the dog thinks and so she barks. Strange men are on the roof when she goes outside – and so she barks. There has just been no way to convince her this is all going to turn out okay. I think the commotion finally wore her out. She is asleep under my desk, on top of my feet. I’m keeping her this week while the kids are gone. I thought about going to their house, except they are getting a new roof this week too. Oh well, it only lasts two days. I hope.

I got the anchors/screws into the wall for my hook project. The next problem, meaning another trip to the hardware store, came when I discovered the screws for the wood base I made for the hooks were too long. They would poke through the wood. Then there was the fact that I needed more wall anchors of a different type because I switched up what kind of flush mounting hardware I was using. Then there was the slight problem of a screw head breaking off, and my inability to get the remainder of the screw backed out of the wood. I need more grip muscles. I did learn from the hardware man to put wax or soap on my screws. They’ll go in easier. I tried it and it works. One small lesson of the many I’ve learned doing this.

It rained! Of course! You get the old roof off and here come the clouds, thunder, lightning, and rain. The dog is under the desk again.

The roof is done. The painting is done. There will be a long delay on the windows, but that’s okay. Many people were ahead of me in the “needing new windows” line. When it happens, it happens. I saw the roofing materials unloaded next door, so I suppose their pounding will start soon. At least the dog will be back at her house.towelhook

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The little airport in Redmond, Oregon was overwhelmed by three airplanes being there at one time, so we had to sit out on the tarmac for quite a long while before being signaled up to the gate. Sort of gate – you walk down the mobile steps and cross the cement to the building. We had landed early but they took care of that! Then they lost several of the passenger’s luggage (including mine) – for a while. About the time I had the claim form all filled out, they found it. Remember, I said there were three airplanes all at the same time. My ride/cousin waited patiently and I made it here, so all’s well that ends well.

The family reunion/celebration was full of fun and unforgettable, good memories. It was made up of all of the family (grown-ups only) of one of my mother’s brothers, but the girls sort of adopted me in as a sister after Mom and Penny died. I am very grateful for that. It feels good to have such connections and these girls are just the best: generous, kind, and funny. What more could I ask for?  As one of the guys said, “How nice to get together when no one has died.” How true!

Various members of the family swam, kayaked, and paddle boarded off the dock rented for one day of our family get-together. The dock sits on Elk Lake on the west side of Mt. Bachelor. We visited, talked, caught up, and ate way too much. What a great theme! The next day was everyone’s choice. I went with two others to a great history museum/wild animal exhibit/educational facility that turned out to be awesome. We followed that with a great lunch in downtown Bend and a little bitty bit of shopping. Come on, a girls got to look. Remember, I had room in my suitcase. Dechutes

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Believe it or not, I took my laptop on vacation. I decided to spend some of my days away in retreat mode. I have yet to fully embrace writing again, doing little bits and pieces of work on my novel, but not hunkering down into a schedule like I had before the events of last fall. I’m hoping that will change and maybe this trip will provide the catalyst. It remains to be seen.

I spent some time late one night working on the hangers for my hook projects. I got a couple of the holes drilled into the sheetrock. It was hard not to think about that on the flight to Oregon. There is so much time to kill on a small plane that doesn’t provide music or tv channels. I read for a while, but you know, only so much screen time with these old eyes.

The painter brought another set of colors for the accent color on the beams and shutters around the house. One dark chocolaty brown is a possibility, but we decided to change tacks and try a charcoal grey. He will have leave the brown I sort of liked, (1 out of 4) and put up a grey for me to compare with when I return. What a process! Nothing has looked on the house like it does on the sample fan deck. He said that’s totally normal, it’s why he brings the little samples to try out. He’s been doing this a long time and learned a few lessons along the way.

We’re flying above fabulous white clouds, an ocean of frosting. I’m wondering what is going on back on earth while I’m up here. Another mass shooting somewhere? What a sad, sad state of affairs America is in right now. We need Abraham Lincoln at the helm, with his calm demeanor, plus a little Thomas Jefferson wisdom thrown in. Maybe it would help if everyone would read about these two men, and what they faced,Otters and how they faced it.

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Having your house painted is an odd experience. When the workman covered the windows with plastic, I began to feel trapped. Silly, I know, but it was an odd sensation. I am very pleased with the new color. It is still green but has more grey and less yellow in it. The trim stands out more and so will the accent color. Kind of fun! The roof will possibly get done next week, sometime after that, the windows.

I spotted a wasp nest right below where the painter was about to paint trim and one of the windows will be replaced. There is always a can of wasp spray in the house (I’m very allergic to them) so that nest is no longer decorating the rock facing.

I finally chose a paint color for the bathroom. The sheetrock repair is done and looks invisible, which is the desired effect. Today, I’m picking up some different anchors for the screws that will fit the wall mounts for the new hooks. What a process! Kind of fun and very satisfying to figure it all out. One more thing to find – a new light fixture. That bathroom has the last of the old halogen lights put in when the house was built. They are unbelievable hot and in-efficient. Good riddance!

I’m headed to a family celebration in Oregon with my cousins. It should be a lot of fun and I’m hoping, relaxation. Time to start laundry and the packing process. My cousin Susie is the ultimate planner, she has even e-mailed me the weather forecast and a list of all the concerts and happenings in the area for the week. What a keeper/angel she is! I am taking a large envelope full of pictures to give away – and THAT means I can shop because I’ll have room in my suitcase to bring something back. That’s my kind of planning.glueing

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Another lazy hot day. My granddaughter’s favorite place is the hammock on the back patio. There are errands to run and books to read and glasses of icy cold beverages to drink, and yet I still find a little time to work on my latest book and my towel-hook project. That is going well. I got the wood cut to the right length without cutting off any fingers, so I count that as a win.

My son came by and there were four things I was supposed to send home with him. I only managed to remember two. Not so hot. I’ll get the other two things out there soon, it’s just frustrating. I’ve picked paint colors for the house. They’ll bring color boards by soon so I can hold them up outside. I’m so glad they got the rotted trim boards replaced before the painting happens. Houses need constant care and upkeep. I was so unaware of that growing up.

I’ve gotten another package of old photos readied to mail off to my nephew in Germany. I sorted out a bundle for cousins I will see next week, and another bundle for cousins I will see next month. My kids are going through the pictures, taking what they want, and then that project will be off my plate.

I’m starting the portion of my towel-hook project where I have to find the wall studs and repair the sheetrock when I take the old towel bars down. That will be fun. I’ve had some practice at sheetrock now and I’m fairly confident that part will turn out okay. The problem is, the bathroom will need to be painted and I haven’t picked out paint, don’t want to pick out paint, and for sure don’t want to paint it! Egads. What was I thinking?radial saw

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I’m on the patio, looking at the garden and thinking, “I should be weeding.” Dag-nabit. It’s cool for the moment, supposed to get really hot today, and so, I suppose, out there I will go. Back in a bit. By the way, the squirrels are having a rambunctious morning this morning. Maybe they have extra energy now because they know they’ll be sleeping through the hot afternoon. Me too.

I’ve started my towel-hook project and so far, it is looking pretty good. I’m taking pictures as I go. We’ll see. I have lots of the left-over wood from a previous project that I’m using, so any mistakes can easily be redone. Next, I will work on the arrowhead displays. My granddaughter is anxious to get back the ping-pong table.

The work on the outside of the house has begun, but it will be weeks (months?) before it is all done. I’m “on the schedule” for the roof, the painting should happen within a couple of weeks, and I’m not sure about the windows, but the trim that needed replaced is happening now. The fence, not so sure. All in good time. There has been so much destruction this summer – all over the country – that makes my damage seem very minor. I will be patient. I didn’t lose my crops and my house is totally livable.

I had a breakdown in the shower, first one in a long time. A good place to cry because the tears are quietly washed away. I wanted to talk to my sister, ask her questions, reminisce about the past. I’ve been sorting old pictures to take to a family reunion that’s coming up. I suppose that’s what triggered the emotions. Or maybe it was the fact that my granddaughter is old enough to contemplate sleeping in the guest bedroom rather than with me. They do grow up. I gave her the choice, but it made me think of the fact that I never had a grandmother to snuggle with. hookproject1

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What a joy it was to be camping in the mountains. I came home to mid-nineties. Ugh. Each afternoon, or evening, or through the night, we got a rain storm to cool things off while we were up there. It made having camp-fires a challenge, but we had no s’more fixings so it wasn’t essential. We got in one lovely fire.

The views were the highlight of the trip, our encounter with a Big Horn sheep herd a close second. Four curious little babies were in the group of sixteen and they were not afraid of us. They probably came within eight feet. Amazing.

The Arkansas river is still running fast and deep for the end of July. Lots of snow still to melt in the collegiate peaks area. Many of the Big Horn sheep we saw had yet to shed all of last winter’s hair. They looked pretty rough despite being fat from the abundant green growth they were munching on.

I’ve started a project and it is making me want to turn my little garage into a workshop. The problem is figuring out how to do that. What makes a good workshop? I know I would need an actual work bench. The table I use now is also where I set things like the batteries for the lawn mower and the weed whacker. It isn’t a dedicated work bench, and never stays clean for long.

A lot of the things that would be useful such as a vice and a radial arm saw are in my dad’s storage shed. That makes me grit my teeth. I would probably use the radial arm saw once or twice every five years. Not worth it. I have a skill saw and that is going to have to do. Maybe I’ll google work shops or watch u-tube videos. That seems to be how we learn things nowadays. bigHorn

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