To Thoroughly Clean a Basement

I know at least a couple of you have missed me, so I thought I’d let you know what is keeping me busy since I haven’t been posting.   Our main project is, the basement.

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Have you ever cleaned a basement from top to bottom?  I know I have not.  Judging from the amount of dust and grime the previous owners didn’t clean the basement top to bottom either.  That leaves us with over 65 years of accumulated dust and grit that settles everywhere, including the little cross pieces between the floor joists.

After experimenting with brooms, dusters, various vacuum heads, cloths and anything I could think of, I finally settled on sweeping with a small brush, followed by scrubbing the dirt off with a dry heavy duty green scrubber, while keeping the vacuum going to suck up the majority of the dust as it falls.

Yes, I took safety precautions while cleaning.  I wore a mask and safety goggles.  I kept the majority of the dust out of my hair.  White shorts may not have been the smartest wardrobe choice, but they are Hubby’s.  He hasn’t worn those shorts in years, so I may as well.

I have been focusing on one small room.  My plan is to get this room cleaned and painted, move storage into it, and then move on to the next section.

There are many cans of old paint, some dried, some not, none of them dated.  I couldn’t tell you if they are a few months old, or more than 10 years old.  We will get rid of all of the old paint, and start our own collection.

The next step in my small room in the basement, is scraping, scrubbing everything with bleach and cleaner, and finally painting.  Maybe I can get that done tomorrow.

We have taken apart a large section of built in cabinets that seemed to have rot on sections that were in contact with the concrete block.  We had a nice fire with the bad wood.  The little room I have been working on will store the salvaged wood.

I am developing a list of projects for the salvaged wood.  A list of things for Hubby to make.  I am willing to do decorative work, but the making of sawdust and the building of things is the dream Hubby has talked about for the last 7 years.

After the little storage room, we will work on Hubby’s workshop!  He has begun the work in that section.  We will just work around the entire basement, one section at a time.

We had fears of water in the basement when we moved in.  Even with days of torrential rain, we haven’t had any water in the basement.  Yeah!  The usable space will make all the effort worthwhile.

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Celebrating the August 2017 Eclipse

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Our best friends, living in Nebraska, called with an invitation to watch the Eclipse on August 21, 2017.  Of course we accepted.

We took a picnic, set up off the highway on an unused ancient stretch of roadway, surrounded by the Sandhills.  Our picnic included Kolaches and a 20 year old bottle of Dom Perignon.  We toasted the eclipse, and good friends during the totality of the eclipse.

We watched as the the shadows dim and twilight decend during our lunch. The wind seemed to still, the air temperatures dropped, and a chorus of crickets sang as the eclipse reached totality.

We were amazed that we could see solar flares coming off of the surface of the sun.  We saw no stars, but that may have been due to cloud cover.  The western sky was very dark, while the horizon of the eastern sky glowed.

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 The horizon with bright white headlights shining through the dark.

We enjoyed our champagne, our sweets, and the company of our friends.  In the evening we enjoyed dinner at a local spot called The Elyria Bar and Grill.

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Proprietor Pam has created a place in Elyria, Nebraska, where locals gather and have fun with each other while enjoying simple, tasty food, and drink.  I did leave a card advertising my blog, and if you are visiting from Elyria, Nebraska I  would like to welcome you and hope you will leave a message.

The decorations in the bar include dollars people have left messages on stapled up around the bar.  We included our dollars announcing our survival of the eclipse of 2017.  In the future, when the walls are covered with dollars from floor to ceiling, our dollars will be an enduring reminder of a wonderful day from beginning to end.

Housewarming

Welcome family and friends, which includes you readers.  No housewarming gifts please, unless it is a nice wine that we can share.

Now, we are unpacking at a leisurely pace, and trying to find places for everything. We have moved from a 1300 square foot space with a shed and off site locker, to a 1008 square foot space, with an unfinished basement, an attic, a three car garage, and parking for our camper.

I’ve unsubscribed from real estate sites, and now stalk Pinterest, looking for storage and decorative ideas.  My focus is shifting to home decor.

We found a sofa at a resale shop with good lines.  While dated, reupholstery will bring the sofa into the current decade.  Changing out the legs to bring the seat height up a few inches would make the sofa more comfortable for a little old lady. I’ve been looking at some wonderful deeply saturated colors that I’ve never considered before.

We have exchanged our large kitchen table for our daughter’s smaller table.  Several smaller items have been passed on to family members who can make better use of them.  Things I kept in case of a visit, have gone to live with the hoped for visitors.   Things of a sentimental nature are getting passed on to those who also have a connection to cherished memories.

Things are only things, yet cherished memories causes us to imbue simple objects with the values of an experience, love, and self.  Hubby’s old photo multiplier tubes collected during his career.  The chess set we made and painted with my Mom and Aunt Daisy.  A small pebble whose color I love, found on a wonderful vacation with my children.  My Mom’s lamp, we found together in a resale shop. These are our cherished items.

These are a sample of the things we value.  Things we can’t just drop off at Goodwill. Either we keep these things, or give them to those we love who will appreciate them as we do.  The only other thing that would separate these types of items from us is a fire or natural disaster.

I swear, I have no idea how I ended up with so many glass paperweights.  I’ve never had them all assembled together before.   I have an incredible number of cook books, and cooking magazines.  There is my ever growing number of hobby items, including:  sewing, crochet/knitting, art and craft materials.   I have been looking for a ukulele, which I  found, but I felt too guilty about all my stuff just waiting for me at home, in boxes.  I walked away.

I’m ready to continue the exploration of our new area.  More than that, I  am ready to get back to ordinary life.  I’ll see you around the bloggospere.

Trump Stirs Supporters and Protesters

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Eagle on top of WV Capitol Dome in Charleston WV  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Author
Coal town guy

Some of us remember the antiwar demonstrations beginning in 1969, the civil rights demonstrations leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or The Tea Party demonstrations against ever increasing taxes of recent times.

Recently we see demonstrations in opposition to President Donald Trump, by those who object to the dismantling of healthcare, oppose the wall proposed by the President, or take exception to a the idea of roughing up the opposition for speaking out, or are against encouraging police officers to rough up those taken into custody, or for being a little too friendly with those found to interfere with our elections.

Are these demonstrations effective?

Today President Trump will be holding a rally in West Virginia.  Thanks to living in Appalachia  for the last seven years, I know many people on both sides.  An interesting idea for protest was posed, to buy two tickets to the rally, and then don’t show up, denying the President an audience.  To my friends who are supporters, don’t worry.  There are plenty of people who want into the rally, and if you are one of the lucky ones, you may just get one of those seats.  Their will be a full audience for the rally.

My readers, and my friends, all know where I stand politically.  My sympathies are with those who stand in opposition to many of President Trump’s policies.  At the same time, I long for a way to get the parties to work together.  I wrote letters to all of my Ohio representatives, about healthcare, and got a very thoughtful response from Ohio Senator Rob Portman.  The other response I received was full of Republican talking points, and not at all persuasive, nor appreciated.

Being a child of the sixties who wore a black protest ribbon against the Vietnam War, while dating a Marine, I love a good protest.  So what protest are my West Virginia friends plotting?  A party!  A party with banners of inclusion, food collection for the hungry, a positive demonstration with a lot of flag waving, and music.  No chaos, no shouting, no fighting with the opposition.

Will the proposed, positive protest be an agent of change?  Will it result in Republicans and Democrats coming together to debate civilly?  Will it result in an America that is neither red nor blue, but instead purple?  Purple combines both colors, and would result in cooperation and compromise.  Perhaps the results would be better than either party could force through on its own, and last more than one election cycle.

The question is how to have a protest that makes this desire clear to our elected representatives.  The Antiwar sit-ins I participated in had a clear statement to stop the Vietnam  war.  Civil rights demonstrations were aimed at ending separation policies between whites and blacks, no more sitting at the back of the bus, separate wash rooms, separate schools, and discrimination against voters.  Most recently the Tea Party showed themselves to be a force in elections, even attaining office, in its fight against the expanding reach of government, and the taxation that comes with that reach.

Senator Portman is a person I would recommend as a thoughtful leader who is aware of the concerns of both sides.  He is the kind of person we should all be voting for.  I can see the other side, when slogans are dropped.  Maybe there is a way to appease both sides. Maybe my friends in West Virginia should sign up voters who, like them, are looking for leaders who will work for all of us, rather than their party.

For the next election I will be voting in Pennsylvania.  I’ve already registered.

 

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Correction

I didn’t remember exactly what my sweet daughter said about not being able to get a sitter when we are less than an hour away.  She did not say we were useless as babysitters.  I was projecting my feelings about my temporary unavailability.

To be clear, I don’t believe I must shape my life around the needs of my children and grandchildren.  Sometimes, I  might have my own things to do.  But I have been looking forward to seeing our children more, and even baby-sitting, especially since the babies are old enough to really do things with, and don’t need much actual sitting.

We are also happy to sit with the actual babies in the family.

It’s the Little Things

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We are in our new home, and working hard to get ourselves settled.  We have worked so hard that Hubby is on bedrest for at least a week!  I am also easing back.  My sweet daughter commented that here we are less than an hour away, and we are useless as babysitters.   In a couple weeks, for her and her husband’s anniversary, we should be ready for duty.  It makes me smile.  I am happy we are close enough to see and interact with the grandkids, before they are completely grown.

Then there are our children, whose help with moving in kept the move affordable, as well as getting our furniture into the house!   Okay, I’ll admit there have been a couple of bounced checks, but that is why we have overdraft protection.   Scheduling  payments electronically is not a skill I have mastered, and with all the disruption of the move there were a few too many dinners out.  I’m glad it was my bank account that took the hit rather than my waistline.  I have my priorities.

The house isn’t pretty, but it is liveable.  The garage is full of boxes waiting for attention.   Taking care of everyday tasks is a relief.   I love my new stove and refrigerator, and I’m happy just cooking at home.  Doing laundry, even at the laundromat, brings normalcy back to my life.

While waiting on the laundry, I was reading the Special Time Edition of The Science of Happiness:  New Discoveries For a More Joyful Life.  One new thing I learned is how to think positively.   Thinking positively isn’t just appreciating the band as the Titanic sinks.   Thinking positively is thinking about happy memories,reliving them in your mind.  It is like a mini vacation, refreshing.

Soon we will have a house warming, and I’ll share pictures of the new house.  Until then, build many happy moments into your daily life.

Happy memories.

Freedom

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Bean the Wookie

Awakened at 4 a.m. needing to tend to personal things.  The grandchildren are visiting with their two-month-old Wookie, who needed to be let out a short time after that.  Wookie is growing up and decided to go for a run.  I had to laugh at my granddaughter chasing after Wookie and bringing him back to hook him to the leash.   It confounds me why everyone thinks their dog will just stay by their side because of love!

Love has nothing to do with it.  A dog has got to be a dog.  If a dog can get its way, it becomes the top dog, the alpha dog, numero uno!    Some people know how to train a dog to stay with them, but I don’t.  My best reasoning says to keep a dog tied to you until it is at least two years old, and has learned to come to you when called, no matter where he is or what she is doing.  A tether helps with this also, as a small tug helps the dog to respond appropriately, but don’t forget the loving.  Treats also help, and include playing with their favorite thing as well as food treats.

Hubby either doesn’t understand this, after many years with many different dogs, or he just doesn’t care.  Many people believe it does no harm to let a dog just run free a little bit.  They explore, never really go far, and come back happy.  In fact, running seems to be essential for some dogs.  If you have ever tried to contain a beagle, or other hunter, you will understand.  These dogs live by their nose, and if they pick up a scent, they have just got to go.

Unfortunately for our dogs and for Hubby, continual conflict with neighbors over our unleashed dogs has caused me considerable stress, which I pass right to Hubby.   As I’ve told my neighbor who called me while I was out of town to tell me where my dog was, “I have more luck training the dog, than I do my husband.  Obviously, I’m not very good at either.

I am seriously distressed by the things people create to keep dogs from even their mailbox poles.  Nasty, cutting things with the intention of hurting an animal.  Poison in a tempting wrapping to punish both pet and owner.  People, really.  For a few dollars, you can buy a spray keeping animals away with an unpleasant, but harmless odor.  Reapply as needed.

And there are other hazards, like people who want to walk off with your adorable pet.  There are cars to dodge and wells and sewer grates to avoid.  There are dangers in the world.

Is a tiny, constricted life the kind of life any creature wants?  Let’s continue to explore and experience the world we live in.   Let’s live free and bravely, with our pets.

 

A New Home

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By Andreas Trepte (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

At last.  We found a house, our offer was accepted, and we are well on our way to home ownership once again.

House hunting is a process of balancing needs and wants.  You need a roof over your head, and a place for your stuff.  If you want a spacious home, a large artfully landscaped yard, and cute, you will pay extra.  In our case, the primary want is to stay out of debt!  So, we found a house that is a little bit of a fixer upper.  I think our choice left our realtor confused after all of the more perfect homes we saw.

On the main floor are cozy bedrooms, a kitchen and living room.   Small, but we moved from a doll house.  I think of this house as a nest.  I think we will be comfortable.  Before the house really fits us, we will have to claim part of the basement as living space.  Well, not exactly living space, but play and sleepover space for the grandchildren.  The house has a great garage, space for our camper, and a small, easy to take care of yard.  Perfect for a couple of little old people, and remarkably like our first home starting out our life together.

We want a nice deck off the back.  A little landscaping will increase the curb appeal.  The house should give Hubby many projects to keep him happily occupied in his retirement.  He has his choice of work spaces, but a great big saw was left in the basement.  Hubby can’t wait to see how it works.

I thought we could relax now that a choice has been made.  Take the time to enjoy our time in the wilderness.  In fact, I would be perfectly happy to go exploring through the woods, or on the lake in my canoe.

We have taken the canoe out and gone on a hike, but Hubby is more concerned about how quickly we can get our stuff, where to put it, and fixing all the things noted by the inspector, in addition to the purely luxury projects he would like to do.

Frankly, most of our hikes have been back and forth to the bathrooms in the rain.  (I just hope the weather clears up for my three grandchildren coming to camp with us for the week.)  We spend our rainy days shopping for appliances, a lawn mower, and obsessing over how to handle moving into our little nest, and turning our nest into a home we love.

Roughing it in the Twenty First Century

Darn it!  The internet is down again!  Here I am in my air-conditioned self-contained travel trailer with electricity, cable television, even air-conditioning, and I can’t make a freaking internet connection!  I am paying top dollar at a full-service campground so I can get internet, as well as a prime weekend camping site.  At the beautiful Pennsylvania State Park, we had to drive 18 miles to a place with internet, and except for the rain and mud, we were very comfortable, but they were fully reserved for the weekend.

The problem at these full-service camp grounds, is the number of devices in the hands of everyone over the age of five.  Even with three Wi-Fi networks it is difficult to get on-line, and when you do, buffering is torturous.  This is no way to house hunt, and an even worse way to blog.  I’ve been forced to resort to using WORD!!!! This is last century stuff.

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