Press "Enter" to skip to content

Category: Home improvement

From preps to porch swings

It’s funny. You guys probably came here originally for lib-anarchism, Attitude, practical talk, and good rants. Maybe you stayed for Mad DIY construction projects. But this week I’m talking to you about stuffed sheepdogs and porch swings. Are you still here? Might as well get the porch swing out of the way, then go say something Meaningful afterward. I’ve been wanting a porch swing for years. Coveting a porch swing. But I thought I’d never get one. I couldn’t justify the cost of buying new. But I had very specific requirements — all having to do with the NorthWET climate.…

18 Comments

Farewell faithful (stuffed) sheepdog, and other tales from the cleaning wars

It was one of my favorite things. This YUGE stuffed sheepdog. Beastie was about five feet long and so well made that it even had big button eyes and substantial, well-sewn eyelids despite the fact that, being a true sheepdog, nobody ever saw them. Every morning when I’d put it back on my bed, I’d make sure it was seated comfortably. It always seemed happy. But since finishing the bedroom a week ago, I’ve been on a crusade to bring order to the entire house after nine months of construction and chaos. I’ve already hauled off several Kia-loads of donations,…

4 Comments

Dodged a bullet

At least I think I did. Hope I did. It’s a very slow-moving bullet, however. It’s a government bullet, and it might still be out there waiting to strike. Not government as in feds battering down my front door. Just government as in bureaucrats at the county, the kind we all have to deal with now and then. It’s a dirty little tale. Literally. Involving a septic tank. My house, Ye Olde Wreck, shares a septic system with the house next door. An odd arrangement no modern bureaucrat would approve. But at the time (1970s, maybe earlier) it was an…

14 Comments

Clean house, clean brain

Danm, that felt great. I’ve just sat down to rest after 24 hours of mad housework. I cleared about half the construction disarray, then scrubbed, swept and dusted. (Okay, I got a few hours sleep in there, too; but it was still a marathon.) You have no idea how feeeelthy a house can get after six weeks of drywalling (even with all the work being done in a back room) and an even longer time of cutting up 2x4s, shims, and trim with a chop saw that has no good place to operate. The saw’s been in the living room…

9 Comments

It’s the sweet little details (and the pleasant surprises)

The past week I’ve been staggering between working on the new bedroom and editing the book Kit Perez and I are writing. The manuscript went to Kit yesterday for her comments and revisions. It will probably go back and forth a few more times, but for now it’s out of my hands. Yay! The bedroom project has turned from grueling into fun. I’ve reached the finishing stages, where work can be done a relaxing hour at a time, and where each hour produces more aesthetic improvement than entire weeks did not long ago. Even though it’s not done, time to…

11 Comments

Watching mud dry as an antidote to the madness of the world

How’s that for a blog title? Sounds like one of those avant garde 1960s plays, doesn’t it? (The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade — that sort of thing.) Actually, it’s the plain, mundane, and muddy fact of the day. Just now, I was sitting in the bedroom-to-be, sipping a cup of sweet tea, kicking back in a bentwood rocker (maybe I should add that to the title), inspecting/admiring/critiquing the wall I taped and plastered this morning. And it occurred to me…

12 Comments

Wintertime with the Wandering Monk

I felt churlish yesterday after venting at The Wandering Monk. I was in one of those “it’s my blog and I’ll rant if I want to” moods. Not great moments for wisdom or discretion. It turned out the Monk’s issue was seasonal depression compounded by a tragedy he associates with this time of year. The tragedy was years ago, but of the kind that alters life forever. Then — you know how it goes if you’re a depressive — the funk of idleness he fell into fed on itself. Every day he was unmotivated led to more inertia. Which led…

12 Comments

Well, so much for the Wandering Monk

[venting] Nine-ish today, he said. The Wandering Monk was coming to repair the floor so I could finish the bedroom project. He knew my neighbor also needed advance notice so we could collect stored flooring from her. I have been busting my buns for days to be ready for him. Neighbor J. left her garage unlocked for us. At 9:30 I texted him. 10:00: Sorry. Forgot. No word on whether he ever planned to show again. So are you going to be here today or have you quit? Tomorrow. I texted him back to say those materials were coming out…

10 Comments