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blueshoefarm at gmail dot com.... and that would be how to reach me

Thursday, December 31, 2009

History - Seattle Totem or Story Poles

Since I have not been posting with pics since I keep freezing my camera by leaving it in the car I am not currently driving and have a bunch of work photos on there anyway I thought I could cheat and treat you to a bit of history.

The unpainted story pole standing in the pic to the right while the fellow is strapping down a painted totem pole is the first pole EVER in Seattle that tells the story of Seattle. Installed in 2007, and carved by a member of the currently federally unrecognized Duwamish tribe.
Chief Seattle lived in the Duwamish River area, and his mother was duwamish. Unrecognized tribe? A major city is named after a respected indigenous leader of whom some of his descendents are unrecognized by the federal gov't as being duwamish? There is a whole lotta conversation to be had on this, as in, who decides 'what' you are? (i know i am in trouble for using this terminology, ms. facci.) How about you are what you are. If you are born to it, if you are raised it, why would that be contested. Why would someone else define your family of origin whether you are born into it, adopted, extended or married. I am fairly sure we are still a free-choice culture. I notice when money, fiscal rewards or property/casino/fishing rights get involved a whole lot more people have an opinion. Ok, done with my wee venting action.
A story pole differs from a totem pole in that from bottom to top it tells a story of something. A totem is just that, totemic figures/symbols representing a community or tribe.
-The replaced horizontal totem pole that is being strapped down was bug chewed and moved away to the local community museum.

The vertical postcard of the single pole and the Seattle city skyline captures an image of the first totem pole ever placed at this park. This photo looks like a 1950's Seattle. This particular totem pole was created for the tourist trade in the early 1900's. The significance of the totem figures is nada, it was created using popular totemic figures, not necessarily significant to the people that carved it. At the top is a beaver, then bear with a salmon, then orca/killer whale. The faces on the side have to do with the orca being this tribes significant creature. But as I said, this is just tourist trade work..
I notice a serious lack of pollution in this photo. The air is no longer this clean in Seattle. Sigh.

And then there is modern day Seattle all the way at the top. What is sad is I remember when the wee dinky Smith Tower, just a bitty point on the far far right was a BIG BUILDING on the skyline. Now you can barely make it out with all the newer larger pointy things rising in the air. We call one of the buildings downtown the "Ban roll-on" building. If you are downtown, you can figure it out. (And I suppose if you are old enough to remember Ban deodorant.....) See the yellowy haze most visible to the right of the pic? This was probably a nice summer day when we had not had rain in quite a while, so the air is full of crap. Did I say I moved away from this city? Why yes, yes I have. And am happy about that since we have an asthmatic child whose asthma has mysteriously been getting much better.
Modern Seattle photo courtesy

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Children and 'Hicksville"

It is official. We moved out of Seattle to 'the country'... (we all know I laugh at that term since I am 5 minutes from starbucks and home despot....) and my daughter is telling her old Seattle buddies that she needs to get outta this hick town. Hick town? Really? I am worried about this school she is in. I was thinking it would make her a well-rounded adult, accepting of pretty much anything since she has dealt in her short life with folks that are not really like us: extreme liberalism, extreme wealth, extreme conservatives, and now extreme I don't know what to call this. There is the positive side, that kinda low key friendly attitude that can pervade a small town, but the negative side is different than what I grew up with (oh shall I say) 30 years ago in a rural environment?? We were gentle, they are a rough group, full of swearing and fighting.
I think the world changed rapidly and somehow I was left way way behind wearing my rose-colored glasses. Where are those damn things, anyway?
On an interesting side, my favorite jehovah's witness Poppy stopped in this week, giving me a big book on the life of Jesus. She has said she can't quite figure me out, but I have nice kids.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Simple Men and Tears

Yesterday, my 10 year old son said he was a "simple man" when I complimented him on solving some issue with a straight forward solution. I was thinking all convoluted on the answer, and he ,came up with something direct. A simple man? Where on earth did that come from?
Today, our 14 year old said she was crying "tears of frustration" not sadness when she was arguing a point with me. And that I was not logical. And she spoke calmly and directly and would not let me divert.
Dang, when these kids grow up they certainly keep things interesting. And as they get older they want to argue points, even if it is the hardest thing in the world for them to do. This growing up is a challenge.

How to Change a Light Fixture - the slow way

Sad picture of sad 'new' light without fancy shade. See the lovely hole I made around the switch on the wall? A similar lovely hole is in the ceiling now.
Denis' rear clambering into the wee roof space next to the chimney. He could not fit that rear between the chimney and roof, which is of course where the light spliced from.
This is almost embarrassing to write. But obviously not embarrassing enought to stop me. OR I have reached an age where I don't give a rip anymore. This is the story of a hallway light.
1. In August I noted the upstairs light blew its lightbulbs out. Literally shot them out of the socket. Recognizing the ineptitude of the previous owners who overwatted every single rippin' light fixture in this house of knob and tube wiring.... that it was more than likely due to that.
2. I went to Home Despot and got a simple fixture and from one of my fave antique stores a 'vintage' glass light shade. Vintage in this story means 'overpriced'... but attractive.
3. I took down the old fixture. Which was only a couple years old. But way overpowered for the wiring that led up to it.
4. Noted that the wires were coming directly out of the wood ceiling. As in, two holes were drilled and two wires poked through.
5. Sighed. Went back to Home Despot and got a junction box. It is my goal to slooooowly correct things as I discover them.
6. Changed hallway light switch that controls this to a dimmer switch. Had to drill and rasp the wood hole bigger to fit the dimmer.
7. Waited about two months... needed to go into the attic to make the hole bigger to fit the junction box. Needed daylight and I always seemed to be doing something else during the day, plus had promised Wilder he could go up in the attic with me.
8. Crawled in attic through the secret door in the bathroom.
9. Promptly began my usual cursing when I see what the previous owners have done. Gentle cursing, since my kids were present. My new favorite is "Oh, Flagnon!" You must see monsters vs. aliens to get this one. (Highly recommend this movie) I digress.
10. What the hell was my inspector doing up here a year ago??? Because he sure didn't mention that my outlets and ceiling lights are crappily/haphazardly spliced off the knob and tube wiring. Also, did not mention that the insulation is right up against the knob and tube. Flagnon! Can we say let's just friggin' burn the house down.
11. ANYWAY, got the kids' dad to crawl up there so I could work from the second floor and he keep the electric lines away from my sawing to make the fixture box hole larger. It was right next to the chimney, so we could not fit. (the original person must have been teeny who put that in) I stood underneath with my eyes closed and sawzall'ed the hole in the wood ceiling. I had sawdust everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Ears, Eyelashes, Underwear. And I was wearing goggles. Put the box in. It was the wrong type. But we made it fit.
12. Put up fixture.
13. Put up lightshade. It did not fit over the new fixture with regular bulbs.
14. Waited a week.
15. Went to Lowe's for a bathroom window and found small lightbulbs that allow the 'vintage/overpriced' shade to now fit.
16. Will have my electrician redo this when he comes over, or at least give him a good laugh as he fixes it.
17. I really do love my house. It teaches me patience, and grace. Who needs anything other than children, four old walls, an ex, a job, horses, throwing up cats, a leaning chicken coop, leaking siding and a furball dog to teach you humility, kindness, time management and letting go of perfectionistic tendencies?
18. Oh wait. I have not let go of perfectionistic tendencies yet.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sophie Dog Zing Cat

We had to put Sophie down last week. It was a sad day. And a sad couple days after. We also got a giveaway cat named Zing. Zing is a bit neurotic, and not really a people cat. Or a cat cat. She is an odd duck of a cat. But very cute, if a bit nervous looking.
Old Sophie girl sunning herself last summer...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Two Pics of My House - 1900's and 2009

Now.... and


Just recently went to the local tax assessors office to find out any information on my house. On the very last page of the 14 page document was a scan. I showed this to a friend and she shuddered. "This is YOUR HOUSE?" She has not seen it in person... so maybe she thinks I live in this house now. ? The naive thing about me is I would Love to live in this house. With a furnace and maybe change those one over two windows glass to double pane. Electricity would be great, too.

Note the wee linden tree on the right of the picture which now towers over this house. And the small quince bush that became a towering mess-o-branches near the front door that I recently had yanked. The bush, not the front door. Sometimes correct grammar eludes me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Old House - New Owners

Just got an email from the new owners of our Seattle house. They sound happy, which makes me happy. I was worried they were gonna tear the house down, NOT that it is a prime example of post-war architecture in the Seattle area, just because it is a solid house made out of real wood with glass door knobs. Although I never loved that house, it made us a great home for 11 years, and I patted it on the wall and murmured thank you as I left for the last time. Well, unless you count the time I broke into our old house before they moved in because... is this a 'me' thing or what.... I left my purse in the house. The whole house is empty and hollow and echo-ey... and I leave my purse right on the counter, and lock the doors leaving them the keys to the doors sitting next to my purse.

Horse hospital

Bey has taken a trailer ride to the lush plush cold horse hospital where he had something stuck in every orifice, poked with drugs and is now hooked up to an IV. Somewhat of a crack-up, I did not know horses could go IV'ing. They just attach it to his neck and 4 giant bags are hanging above his stall, he can walk around hooked up to fluids. All because of a bellyache. This is hard to explain to non-horse folks, but horse-gal friend said it best : "It is like when a baby colics, except imagine the baby dying from a stomacheache." Horses have a whole lotta intestines, and all sorts of things can do wrong in those tubes. Bey is our aloof horse. Meaning he does not come over for love or just to visit, he comes over for food. When he is not feeling well, he is an entirely different beast. He rested his (what felt like) 400 lb. head on my folded arm with his muzzle smooshed into my sleeve. He always watched where I was when he was being prodded and poked, and whinnied when I left. I am such a sucker. Hope Rose doesn't read this posting, since she is the same way as a teenager, and she could learn one more way to manipulate her motherly. Cost of horse repair? Price of a mortgage payment. Those of us who pay $200+ to rescue feeder mice and child-loved rats can understand. Damn animals anyway.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Photo: Port Gamble

I think I type on here when I am procrastinating. And I am procrastinating.

Today action list. I write these every once in a while so when I am feeling like I am not getting anything done, I can review, and then remember I do get stuff done and to give myself a ripping break.

1. Picked up horse blanket.

2. Dropped off check to bank.

3. Bought new flour and yeast for sourdough making.

4. Pet cat.

5. Called vet for Bey (horse) who tried to colic.

6. Pet dog.

7. Checked on new guinea pig, Flambe.

8. Walked Bey.

9. Blanketed Bey.

10. Warmed water for Bey.

11. Bribed Bey to eat medicine with horse cookies. It did not work.

12. Yelled at Rose for thinking a "c" grade is just fine since it is average. (Don't talk to me about this, I am having be perfect/ be imperfect mother/daughter issues and realize it)

13. Yelled at Wilder for somethingerother. Probably having to do with his homework.

14. Quabbled about my flood bill with the water sucker-upper company. I am doing amazingly well with my terminology this evening.

15. Paid bills.

16. Swept leaves. Dumped 7 loads onto the compost, and still have more leaves. Damn big trees.
17. Plugged generator charger into outlet. 'Tis the season for power outages.

18. Bought things Glittergirl asked me to for her.

19. Had a phone meeting on Non-Profit Facilities while sitting in my car on the side of the road.
20. Caulked windows on south side with nasty toxic smelling clear caulk.

21. Frowned.

Usually these lists make me feel better, this one did not. Criminy, is it the weather? I am a huge grump today.

I think I hear a pirate ship of legos rolling across the floor upstairs. I need to go make someone walk the plank back to bed. Pray for their 10 year old boy soul, will ya?

House - In case anyone was wondering

There are a couple construction-reconstruction-restoration blogs I like to visit. They make me feel like I got teensy, wee, simple little problems over here... since they tackle giant jobs like : move walls, dig drain lines, realign foundations, yadee yada. When I post this picture, you will see the level of my talents. For my defense, I will say I was waiting for the vet because Bey is trying to colic, and so only grabbed things nearby to create this glorious repair AND it now is upright as opposed to broken. My restoration bloggers would have a beautiful right-angled, secure, isometrically balanced finished project. Mine is, well, mine is holding rotten wood with screws. Which is no small feat. Rotten wood does not like holding onto anything. Just let me bask in my puddle of brownish glory, okay?

Saturday, November 7, 2009


This is one of my favorite pictures of me when I was young. Well, there are others but they are totally delusional is terms of they don't look like me. Photos can be deceiving. And then we get to wear make-up to play with the whole perspective. I am currently rounder, shorter, wider, older, longer haired but less of it .. but the out of place hair is accurate. Photoshop is a wonderful thing. And friends that use photoshop on your pictures is a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Seattle House Sold

Something that has been lurking in the background of our lives is an unsold house. Immediately before this 'downturn' in the economy, we took out a heloc on our Seattle house. I used that to purchase this new house... okay, this new old house. Then the economy tanked, and we sat on the house for 7 months dropping the price... and dropping the price.
Well no more. The house sold. I did not think it was bothering me, but I realize it was. Now, NOW things can get rolling. I can put stuff away, I can rearrange things, I can put pictures up. I did not think I was waiting, but I must have been. Now I can clear out all the crap. Yippee yay!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Visiting deer cleaning up my apples. Outside my window. As I type. This one has not been shot yet by neighbors. God bless 'em.

I have started taking these pics of dogs on laps of drivers as I see them, but it is hard to be unobtrusive, since my camera is big. The man is driving with a dog on his lap. His arms are around the dog to the steering wheel. And I had to drive in the lane next to them. (but was stopped for this photo...) Yesterday, what I could not photograph since we were rollin' , was a woman with her dog with his paws on the steering wheel as they are moving. Pray tell, what would she choose to do, steer out of danger or make sure her poopsy does not get flipped roughly off the steering wheel?) PEOPLE, what is wrong with you?? Where is your head? What happened to responsibility? Crapinahandbasket! (I don't get charged for saying that word around the kidlets)
This one is pretty self evident. And How Come those rainblows never look as glorious in 2-D as when you are standing under them? Oh, chicken coop that needs paint and a new roof visible in the background.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Onward to Oregon

My favorite part of the freeway down to Oregon.... when you get to go 76 1/2 mph!
The green trim on the Mitchell Oregon Skyhook Motel. I sat in this chair typing on this computer when last here. When I look at these pics it actually somewhat cracks me up, since this wee little motel looks rather rough and unpolished. In my life it is the people that make anyplace worth visiting. And the owners of the Skyhook and the little town of Mitchell are straightforward small town people. I can do the fancy hotels, with the desk staff that could give a rip. But as I age, I will spend my money gladly at the small cafes, espresso stands, and hotels where the people do give a damn.

Interior, Skyhook. All those things are handmade on the wall. This is also a very clean little place with handmade quilts on the bed. The prior posting on this place talks of the history, of course, I am always a sucker for that.
This is a better place to visit Sept-April. The walls are fairly thin and you don't want any screamers next door. (to be fair, that only happened once in my 15 years of staying here... and mercifully for me, but probably not for his gal, the man was a quick shooter)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Welsummer chickens

I decided to get welsummer chicks this year. They are rare and an old breed. We had to wait forever because many other folks wanted them also this season. That is how we ended up with the golden polish neurotic rooster and hen. The rooster would not let the new crew of 5 stay in the chicken house, so they slept in a pile in the chick cage until he departed for wilder environments.
I will tell you a bit about these little girls. Our other fave chickens we have brought on board for their calm temperament and egg laying aptitude. The Black Australorps and Golden Wyandottes and Buff Orpingtons are all wonderful fat birds. Nice and friendly and laid back... they even purr.
These Welsummers cluck and scratch, they have a hard time roosting on a perch (actually fell off the first time up) and like to sleep on the ground in a pile except for one dignified gal. They don't purr, they can honk like geese. The first time I heard it, I figured some ducks or geese were hanging around, and then I realized these wee hens were forcing air out of their blowholes (I am sure that is not the official name for their breathing holes, probably nostrils) and causing a big honking blart sound to be issued forth. It is their wayfinding tool to keep track of each other, they primarily do it when they are in their little chicken herd going over grass in the yard. They are more naturally cautious and seem more street saavy when running around the yard. They keep an eye on the sky, and seek shelter and lay low if anything suspicious pops up. They have good heads on their shoulders (for a chicken!) They are too young to lay as of yet, but we are expecting great things.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Visual "To-Do" List

Maybe I will do the list if I can see it....
1. Plant nursery finds before chill sets in the ground. Report sunflower growth and bee visitation results to

3. Scoop poop. Move compost pile.

4. Make apple sauce.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rooster Tale

Photos: The young juvenile delinquent.

Last night Wilder and I did some illegal stealth maneuvering. Not entirely responsible behavior, but we were torn. Half our family will not let us eat the chickens we raise, and half does not like to be attacked by a big fluffy ball of rooster feathers.
This year we accidentally got a rooster. I actually considered getting a rooster -- one of the docile friendly breeds. Did that happen? No, we ended up with the neurotic, paranoid breed of chicks. (Don't trust your feedstore young men to know one chick from another) When you get the wee chicks at the store, they are usually in a straight run, which means "who the heck knows if these are wee hens or wee roosters take your chance." One of our new pullets turned out to be a rooster. Not bad in itself, I was not worried about it, but this one turned out to be the stupidest, crowingest, attackingest, glowing red eyes terrorizing the barnyard bird. He is lovely. Actually, he is lovely, reddish luminescent feathers, and long green black tail feathers. He has had a variety of names.... but as of last night he shall be known as "the wild rooster of North Kitsap."
I will say no more.

House - Update

Photo Detail : Stupid old electric ceiling light in process of replacing.

Photo Detail : Smartness-challenged previous owner that put two 100 watt bulbs in 60 watt limit receptacle. Note discolored overheated ceramic holder and bulb base still stuck in the holder after blowing the bulb out like a bomb. Every light was over-watted in this house. Did you note the above wiring pic? Not really the electrical system one should be overloading.
Photo: The start of the bathroom tear-out.

Don't even ask about the light that was the three day job. It is still not done. I blame it not on me, but on my endless illness that is finally lifting. The bathroom is still in a funky state of disrepair. I have been eyeballing it, and then leave the room. Ok, really, I eyeball it, pull up a section of the 5 layers of linoleum, think "I am exerting myself" let it drop and then leave the room.
The thing with this clingy bug which I have learned is not to push it. When I felt a bit better and moved manure, moved hay, clambered up and around the ceiling.... I got sick for another two weeks. Have been moving slowly. Which KILLS ME. How am I supposed to be my laid-back overachieving self if I have to rest all the time.
One thing I have been very effective at is shopping on craigslist for my bathroom stuff. Here is the genius thing. I have a limited budget to do this bathroom, yet have now found a kohler shower unit and restoration hardware lights, sconces and towel racks for 27% what I would pay for them new. And they are new! It helps to be sick in bed, since craigslist is weird and varied in terms of the deals you can find. I am still holding out for my new bathroom window and skylight on there.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Electrical work done!

Two stories.

1. Olympic Wiring in Silverdale is absolutely fantastic. They did such an excellent job giving me a new panel and moving the service, and rewiring the main floor so it does not blow if I talk on the phone and turn on a light... plus did it within budget. The cranky cranky inspector who called them on things that I Did Not Even Hire Them To Do and wandered over to my new furnace to write it up for non-compliance (it was bogus, it was compliant) even said "They did a good job for you." Thanks to electrician Mike, who grew up in my neighborhood and remembered delivering the paper to my place when it was the big monster farm (not my three acres... more in the 180 acre range) I was sick while he was doing it, so he got no perks of coffee, goodies or pop. I did not want to infect the man with our tarnished germy foodstuffs.

2. I have started a three day process of changing a light fixture. Ah yes, you savvy do-ityourselfers may scoff at my longterm projects that take most people a couple hours (or hey, a few minutes) But before you go into full "full-of-yourself" mode, keep in mind what I am surrounded by. A) The fixture is on the second floor. Half of that area is still knob and tube. (I have not yet ventured into that costly update of electrical...) B) The fixture was managed by the previous owners. Cursed god-fearin' really really cheap and not very bright (I am guessing that last part--it could be that they were so god-fearin' that their ineptness at repair was because they prayed and had faith that god would take care of them, no matter what cheap crap they installed with what crappy methods and dangerous open wires BUT I DIGRESS) The fixture blew both it's lightbulbs out of their socket. Like, turn on the light, an explosion occurs, you are surrounded by a blue light and then darkness. Quite exciting, completely electrically nightmarish.
C) I have ceiling board over tongue and groove unblemished wood so had to go to Home Despot where Jim the electrician showed me how to install the "container" that the wiring goes in while in the ceiling. Maybe the correct term is "box" but it is a short squat tube shape, bright blue, so box just doesn't cut it for me. Anyway. Turns out I have the wrong box, and so he sells me a new one. wilder is all excited because I am taking him up into the attic to drill the new hole through the ceiling. (When he went to bed last night, he had me close the attic door that is in the bathroom... not wanting to risk any attic escapees, sometimes called Monsters) Funny how they can be so mature, and so kid at the same time. (I am fairly sure if the attic access was in my room I would close it at night, too)

Home Update

Wellllll. I am alive, but not totally healthy. Figured out I got (actually the doctor figured it out) that I had a sinus infection. Those puppies take a long time to get rid of.
Have been wiping myself out. I felt so fantastic about two weeks ago that I ordered three tons of hay, cleaned out my garage, and worked on the (previously) flooded basement. The result was that I was sick for two more days, and then one month later not totally recovered.
Don came over and helped me dismantle the bathroom. I bribed him, I mean rewarded him with lunch at one of my fave places... which now I can't think of the name. Bavarian food with a great second story porch that looks over downtown Poulsbo. Also, the place that sheltered Wilder and I when I locked myself out of my car and house on a cold blustery night before he had his dreaded 4th grade WASL test last year.
Will add all sorts of dramatic pictures soon. (Dramatic to me, probably fairly uninteresting unglamorous shots of ripped out fixtures and flooring to you all. Ohhh, and rotten mystery slime around the toilet... that is a good one)
Stay healthy everyone!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time Capsule Stuffer Extraordinaire

Photo: As only Seattle can do it. Using recycled glass as a drainage material around the time capsule. This is broken glass. I do not envy those people trying to get in the capsule in 2059. Tetanus shots will be mandatory.
Photo: What the heck are they looking at? The final cement layer on top of the time capsule is being enscribed by these children. We'll see if they remember in 50 years....
Time Capsule Stuffer Extraordinaire. That is my new title. Some have said that it is not fitting for the gravity of the job, but considering all the political crap I slogged through (politics=people behavior, not politics=governmental leanings) I find it more than adequate. I think it has a ring to it.
I finally finished compiling and getting a time capsule in the ground with a bunch of well-mannered staff and volunteers. It is due to be opened in 50 years. My own lovely children were not present at the event. Why? Because their dad was having cable installed at his house at the same time. Let's weigh this one out... historic moment that my children could have been one of the few involved who have the chance to be around in 50 years.... or F(*&*(&in' prime time television?
Obviously, the choice has been made. It is okay, because I had 6 surrogate children that morning to carry the torch. I am a bit miffed, I sense, still. My poor kids, I am always shoving them in the limelight where they are not necessarily desiring to be. Next, is to get Rose to play a ghost from the past for a big fundraising event. Please send me good wishes of parental manipulations... I mean honest straight-forward collaboration on this project with my TEENAGER.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Busy times

Have not been posting since I have been sick as a dog. Which is a statement I never understood, since our dogs are never sick. Does that mean that when they get sick they are so dang sick that it is worthy of our saying "sick as a dog?" I am going with that for now.
1. My fave radio show went off the air. So sad.
2. My relatives visited. My aunt had a scary case of bronchitis, I hope she is doing much better. She did not sound so great.
3. The horses are bored.
4. I got sick. Then Wilder, then Rose last night. This is a whoppin' virus/bug. Wilder and his 10 year old immune system recovered in all of 3 days. I have been sick 6.
5. Two nights ago, in the height of my ill miseries... the basement flooded. Purely human error. Nothing faulty on the houses part.
6. One more reason to Curse the Previous Owners. (CPO) When pulling all the wet crap out of the bathroom, began to work on the floor. CPO's layered sticky square linoleum on more sticky linoleum on yet another layer. And ya know why? They were covering the stains of black mold. And what is under all that linoleum? Asbestos linoleum. Although, the pattern on that stuff is 10 times more appealing than all the following layers. Think of all the strange things that were on these layers of bathroom lino over the years. The water has done a job on this floor. Curt should have a blast repairing that wood way way Way down there. BTW, Curt is the fellow I am hiring to do my bathroom installations. I am good at tearing things apart (although not without injuries) but figured I needed to hire a professional for the putting together.
6. I was called a "glamazon" by the water sucker company guy (the young men who sucked the water out of my flooded basement.) That gave me such a hoot of entertainment I have been sharing. So when I am feverish, sticky, pasty-colored and wan, that is when I get a comment on my looks. HA. Don't worry, he just was trying to distract me from he and his partners goofing off on my $84/hour tab. (It does not take two guys 4.5 hours to hook up two water suckers and drain 2" of water from a 600 sq. ft. basement, when they didn't even move anything) (There was a lot of farting around I think)(But then, I was borderline delirious)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Feisty woman venting action - Seattle

See this lovely condominium? The one that has no parking, is on a busy street (3rd Ave NW and Holman in N. Seattle) across the street from a stripper espresso drive-through and drive through oil change station?

See this restored craftsman? On a busy street in the popular Ballard neighborhood, most of these once single family homes have been demolished and flat-fronted, bland, soon-to be dilapidated quickly built multi-use condominium structures have replaced them.
I have loved this house for 21 years. I always envisioned offering to buy it from them when i won the lottery. (Should probably start buying the tickets if I really dream of winning...) I am glad it is still standing, even though the surrounding single family housing with yards, the quaint courtyard apartments of the 30's to 60's are gone and.. what? what is there? Ah yes. Condominiums.

I am just going to say right now I have a love/hate relationship with the city I left behind... Seattle.

Pictures Owed - This is a painted LR floor

Three Views - painted floor. First: 7.25 " baseboard (that electricians can hide wiring behind if you are not wanting to gut your whole house) with unhung picture (I have many pictures sitting just like this one.) Second : Thought I was going to paint the floor yellow first. Blech. No yellow, but there is an addition of our cat, Linda. The wood seams are visible here. Third : Sideways view, in case you have dropped your computer monitor on its side.

I have been not good at having my laptop with my dig camera and then keeping the transfer cord close, and then the camera batteries died, and then I lost my laptop charger cord, then the camera wouldn't work, then I had to buy new batteries, then put them in backwards and shook camera, then put them in the right way, then the laptop was in my other car. (No wonder Rose says I make excuses) Finally, all the pieces were in place with the camera charged, and I got to download old pics. Here are long owed pics of my living room floor. Timeline : 1. Moved into house. 2. Pulled carpets. 3. Sent Rose to hospital with asthma attack because of mentioned carpet pulling. 4. Threw carpets out window with Geri. 5. Had naked floors. 6. Had no money. 7. Laid wood floor over subfloor in my room. *forgot to mention asbestos flooring in my room pulled up and thrown out the window. 8. Painted kids floors upstairs. 9. Pulled so many fantasmagorically insane carpet staples out of the floor that I went through two staple pullers, ripped my floor up with screwdrivers, and bled several times when I was barefoot and walking across sticky uppy staples. ("wear shoes" comments would not be helpful right now.)

I had said I did not like my living room painted. Mostly because, well mainly because I can see the wood seams.

Here you go.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Conspiracy Theory - TV

I am old enough to remember when only "rich people" had color tv's. Wait, I think I am old enough that I was around when no one had color televisions. Anyway, here is my conspiracy theory. I thought of it while taking the long route home since the ferries have really really really sucked of late. Like a 3 hour commute to work. Dang tourists. (just kidding, I liked it when I was a tourist over here) Dang me for not planning ahead. Geez, I used to give myself 30 minutes to get to work, now I am happy when I make it in 1.5 hours. (only 20-30 minutes of that is driving, the rest is coffee drinking, emailing, reading or drooling on my car window on the ferry when I doze off) Anyway, back to conspiracies. I read another blog (Buffy) and she posted about her frustrations with her tv workings since we left the world of analog signals. Antennas, converter boxes, etc etc. I read those, and thought, hmmm. good thing I don't have a smantzy tv or watch that much...because she sounds really frustrated.
When I hooked up our tv, and bought the required $45 fancy amplified antenna and then told the tv controller to 'find me some stations, baby', I thought it would be easy as punch. HA. After several tries, and moving the antenna around, and even having my ma hold the antenna up toward the ceiling as high as she could reach while I pushed the remote buttons... Nothing.
Absofrigginlutelynothin. So, let me understand this one. (If you are still reading this, here is the conspiracy part)
1. For me to receive a television signal, I need to BUY cable. I need to pay a company and they will give me some select channels to watch.
2. Or, I need to hook the tv up to my computer, go online, and watch tv shows on ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT etc etc.
Conspiracy = This crap that is entertaining us feeble minded masses and telling us how to look, what to buy, and what is culturally significant (lord knows I follow that to a 'T') is no longer free, no longer unmonitored. If that is so, I shouldn't have to watch any commercials, since we have to pay for cable or internet access. Cable co's and internet providers now will know what we watch, when we watch. Where the heck is the mystery in that? That is why we have an overabundance of copycat shows. What an uncreative greedy bunch. And our lawmakers were fine with this? Load of crap, I say.
I should note that I am in one of my moods. I can feel the feist rising to my ears. It is good the urchins are in Disneyland with their pa. (or, maybe I am secretly sad I am not riding space mountain right now)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ghost Story - Maritime Disaster on Puget Sound

Right down there. Under that water. Quietly rests a 1904 wreck.

Here is a tale of a ghost ship. One that went down so fast nothing was found. No life rings, no wooden rail, nothing. It is called the worst (worse?) maritime disaster on Puget Sound. About 39 people died. This was in November 1904. The little passenger steamship ferry was called the SS Dix. No one has been able to visit the wreck since it sits in 600 feet of water. And, of course, there was no gold on it, no one 'of merit' in the national sense perished so there has not been alot of modern interest in specifically locating it on the sea floor. But a whole community shut down in grief after this happened. No one residing in Port Blakely, Bainbridge, at the turn of the 20th century, went unaffected by this tragedy. The only female to survive was a young lady who the tale is told her pleated skirt filled with air and she floated. (Let's keep in mind sensational journalism is not new to our current media) Every other woman perished, since they wore heavy wool and corsets, and were downstairs in the warm interior room next to the steam engine. The ship went down in 6 minutes. About 35 other boys and men survived, along with the Captain of the ship.
The current Washington State ferry system floats dozens of times daily over the wreck. Sometimes I look in the water and get the heebie jeebies. It is down there and none of the 300-500 passengers know it. Well, except for me and the ferry captain.

Encaustic Art

Not encaustic art. Metal art. One of Don's many studebakers.. this one is named "Ruby."

Friend Colleen told me of an art class she signed up for. So I did too, not wanting to be left out of an encaustic art class, especially since I had no idea what that was other than wax. And the word caustic is in it. Making it seem both gentle (beeswax!) and wicked (caustic!) A long, long time ago rumor has it that I got an art degree, you may not know that other than I can B.S. about pretty much anything. (this is the side effect of art school, with our class reviews where we all gave our inspiration and what-not usually on very little sleep) Probably why I like writing or telling stories, it is elaborating on a commonplace happening. I tell my friend Don that I could probably tell a story about ANYTHING. As in, turn any ordinary happening into a story. I trip on my way to the barn on a tuft of grass. STORY MATERIAL.

Anyway. Encaustic art is layering wax on a board and doing all sorts of things to it. Carving, coloring, scraping, drawing, imbedding images, the sky is the limit. I am very hooked on this, and the woman giving the class is amazing. If you are in the Seattle area and want a great GREAT class... ask me. She not only teaches you all the ways you can work with this material, but she tells you where to get the stuff, how to make the colors, what a studio needs, etc etc.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

House - Linden Tree trimmin'

There is a monster tree outside my side door. (See the thing looming over the house?) My ma said it is a Linden tree, very old. About a month ago it bloomed and was filled FILLED with honeybees. Love those busy little...
The tree now has a branch leaning on my roof, so last week I called tree trimmers for a quote. The first came in at $1150.00. For one branch to be taken off. In their defense, it is a large branch, and the tree towers over my two story house so they wanted to use a boom truck.
The second quote came in at $450. When I was quiet on the phone, shocked and wondering why there was such a difference in pricing, the tree trimmer said... "Ok, how about $400 and I will do it tomorrow?" Such are my pushy negotiating skills. I sit in shocked silence and the price goes down. Guess who I am hiring?

Apples galore

What on Earth. Horse nose. With apple juice dripping everyone. Disgusting, huh?

The apple trees are heavy with fruit. It seems my favorite ones for eating are producing less this year, but the blasted golden delicious are overloaded. Another week of canning applesauce and whatever else strikes me. The thing you have to be careful about, is when they are this loaded, and you go out to pick up the fallen great apples, the tree bombs you with more fallen apples, and they can hurt! I feel like I am doing stealth apple picking.
Bad horse owner note: This horse is basically running loose on my property when I am home. He is so giddy about the apples that I just let him jog over to the tree and munch down. He is also a love, and getting a smooch from Wilder.
A sidebar. The bathtub I picked up at a remodeled house to use as a horse waterer is going to a haunted house this October. Rose and I were kidding that we wanted to go just to see our old bathtub. (We are both heavy chickens about going through haunted house-like things)
I figured the horses deserve a real stock waterer. They already have a bathtub to slurp from.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Horse Tale - Spotted horse

So Bey got in the chicken feed. Ate about 17 pounds. Called the vet, the vet said "pump his stomach" for a clean $400 bucks. HA. I looked it up on the internet. Unfortunately found a website where a woman lost two horses in 24 hours who had eaten old chicken feed. That did not help. Called horse friend. Horse friend called her vet. Her vet said something different. Decided to get his stomach pumped. ($$$$$!!!!!!) Called my vet back who told me it would now be $450 since it was later and there was a surcharge. Decided Rose and I could deal with this ourselves. There is a limit to what I am willing to pay for something that my vet was very unknowledgeable about (couldn't tell me what doseage was lethal for the horse, couldn't tell me what the things were in the chicken feed that were dangerous)
Went and bought pepto bismol and mineral oil. Was to get 10-20 tablets down him (no problem, he ate them like candy) the mineral oil ended up down my leg and in my shoe. Was to check his feet (for heat... very bad) and his stomach for regular rumbling (very good). Every hour. Overnight. 14 year old Rose sat up with him until 3:10 AM. Checked him every hour, walked him, checked his feet and belly. Then she woke me up. I had a hard time waking up at that hour! But stayed up with him and checked him.
He was fine in the morning. Vet called to check in, and I picked up $70 worth of medications that help with this sort of stuff. Way way cheaper than $450.00. Horses are expensive. But, ours are very well loved. And even Mr. Pill (as Bey is called since he is a horse with an attitude) is well loved and gentle with the kids.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Report on Dog and Day

Amanda is fine! She seems to be none the worse for her horse adventure of being slightly kicked. She can wag her tail again.
Strider the horse has some sort of itchy eczema thing going on his mane.
It is finally raining. It always rains AFTER I water everything in the yard.
We had heat lightening this morning at 3:30. Strange phenomena.
Someone (canine) threw up this morning. There are days that I think it would be really really fine not to have animals in my house. But then Amanda brings me her ball or her sock or her bone or Wilder's sock and I think that she is durn cute and such a great dog.
There are ants crawling up my drain pipe. Hmmmm. Where are they going? What are they doing? Why don't they crawl up the barn drain pipe instead? These are all questions that I know they will not answer. I tried to outsmart them by putting tape sticky side out on the drain pipe. It did not deter them one iota. Ants are more determined than I. There is a bit of news for you.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Blogging instead of Talking - Gushy Post on Friendship

I think there is no small coincidence that I started blogging when I moved out and away from my friends in the "big city." Even though we all promised that we would keep in touch, it is not the easiest since I am an hour and a $30 ferry ride away. It is basically a day trip to come visit, as opposed to "come over and help me finish this cold coffee...." or "come over and try these cookies...." or "let's go on a walk and I can tell you..."
I did know this would change when I moved. And honestly, the calmness of my son, the horses in the back field, the birds out my window, the humor of my daughter, or the ants crawling up my house (oh wait, that is not one of the good things) balance it out. But still I miss them. One comes over and helps me garden, two I schedule a bit-o-time in her busy schedule for a check-in and get together, three has had my son over the 4th of July weekend and our children and similar stories blend us together. It is not always easy to have friends-- boy, they take time! But always good to have people behind you that will step in at a moments notice, listen to all the crap and allow you to bounce crazy ideas off of without actually coming out and telling you that you are crazy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday - One Day at Blue Shoe Farm

Photo: The spotted rump one is the smarty, see the pushed and loose board? The brown horse is innocent.

Today I :
-took Wilder to spend a gift certificate he got for his birthday.
-repaired the fence the horses keep (well, the smarter horse) keeps climbing through without getting stuck to travel to my neighbors lovely clover and green green grass yard.
-repaired the stall wall that the same above wily horse has somehow pulled down.
-cleaned out half of the truck.
-and then spilled a milkshake all over and down the heater vent.
-read a work email that pissed me off and I started reactive typing... but then deleted that puppy and decided the insane people of the world that use email to get their indirect passive aggressive wee tendencies out I would not participate with. They can just wait a couple days.
-gave my daughter lots of fluids. She has a cold.
-scooped horse manure.
-mixed chicken feed.
-planted squash and watered strawberries.
-picked up aluminum chicken coop roofing. (free!!)
-looked at new stoves (or, dreamed about a new stove by looking at them in the big box stores)
-did not clean my house.
-but I did unload the dishwasher and do two loads of laundry.
-paid bills.
-went to the bank.
-went to the library.
-added way too many friends to facebook that are from my childhood. Who says you can't go back? Scary. I try to stay off of facebook, don't need another thing keeping me on my butt in front of this little screen.
-Had a farm injury--when I let the horses into the bigger field, they ran around. Fluffy dog amanda ran with and somewhat under one of the horses. It's hoof hit her back (I imagined a flat dog for a second) and then she ran crying her head off to me. She has not been able to carry her tail up easily, and seems very sore. I gave her a gin and aspirin and sent her to bed. We will see how she wags in the morning after a good night sleep.
Is all this why I wake up sore in the morning? My doctor just keeps telling me I am perimenopausal. I think she is using that term too frequently. I bet if I go in for a sunburn and a runny nose she will tell me I am perimenopausal. I bet the root canal I had last week was due to this, also. I will ask her.

Late note: my daughter just informed me she would not date someone that wears a speedo bathing suit. I have no idea where that came from, especially since I keep telling her she is not dating until age 25. Sometimes the looks she gives me are so worth a gazillion words.

Photo: Amanda dog and Bella cat on the porch. Note Bella talking in Muffler Dog's ear.

Kids - Lego

And this is for my son. Who took about 343 photos of every angle of his lego battle scenes. Including close-ups of all the characters, which I inadvertently downloaded from my camera and said... "huh?"


This one is for my lovely daughter, who seems to have a whoppin' cold right at the moment.

Friday, June 26, 2009

House - Heat and Electrical work

1. Victory on the heating front. Got my 500 lb dang oil furnace (I mean durn) dragged unceremoniously down the basement stairs and it is being installed! $1000 bucks. And I bought the "new" one off of craigslist. Can't have propane because it is in the basement, can't have gas because there is no service out here.
But the original 1200 lb. wood/oil furnace was OLD and mightily cracked. See there are huge bonuses to living in an old house. They are not so hermetically sealed that you get carbon monoxide poisoning if your furnace firebox has a 6 inch crack in the side. (in my mind, I am trying to be generous, but only come up with "snaky snaky sellers", hiding behind christianity to soothe your lyin' soul) Whoa, did I say that? I have never learned that forgiveness part of humanity. I will work on it before I die, but probably not with them. Did I mention the boys found more in the wetlands when camping? They pulled out a camper stair set and a computer monitor. Who the %*# puts a computer monitor, gas can, oil can, 20 foot rug, gas grill, motorcycle, truck and car parts "in the bushes" when the garbage truck takes pretty much anything you put out there away for free. Aaah. I think I figured it out. They buried or burned their garbage, not gonna give it to the man when God so graciously gave them these mini three acres to hide it all on! When our well water goes oily, I will know why.
Sorry. Big rant action there.
2. Hmmm on the electrical front. The first quote to do my electrical is $2500. And that is only for a new box, and to update the kitchen. That is it. No living room, dining room, bathrooms, laundry room or any of the bedrooms. So that may mean that this will be a kaboodle of bucks job to finish it all? And I just spent $123 which I felt was a luxury... on base molding for downstairs. Yes, I need it. No, heat is not more important. Why yes, I am lousy at setting priorities, why do you ask?
3. I have been subtley forced into thinking of my plywood painted floors (pics to come!!) and deciding I don't like them and want the wood underneath exposed and refinished. What are the chances that is less than $1K? Yeah, thought so.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Commuting - Ferry

Sunset reflection, bainbridge ferry.
Another lucky day commutin' on the ferry.

Family - Feathers or Fur

Tired old cat.

Demanding, yet gentle, hen.

Love-button of a horse.

Usually mud-brown mini farm dog.

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