Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's Done!!

All I can say is: IT'S DONE!!
I need to put something in the window to block all the light so that I can take a better picture.
I have initiated the shower, the sink and the toilet.
But for now, I am going away for a few days.

This is the "before" picture.
Y'all take care, keep safe and have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The word BITCH has popped up at some interesting points in the last few days. An email I received this morning (posted it below), made me wonder about this.

I looked up the word in Wikipedia as I wondered when the female canine term took on human form. This is what Wikipedia says: “Bitch, a term for the female of a canine species in general, is frequently used as a term for a malicious, spiteful, domineering, intrusive, or unpleasant person, especially a woman. This second meaning has been in use since around 1400. When used to describe a male, it may also confer the meaning of "subordinate", especially to another male, as in prison. Generally, this term is used to indicate that the person is acting outside the confines of their gender roles, such as when women are assertive or aggressive, or when men are passive or servile. More recent variants of bitch are bitchy, ill-tempered (1925), and to bitch, to complain (1930)… The term "bitch" comes from the 1150 word bicche, which was developed from the Old English word bicce. It also may have been derived from the Old Icelandic work bikkja for "female dog." The phrase "son of a bitch" dates back to its use in Of Arthour & Merlin c. 1330.”

Operative word for me in the above definition is: UNPLEASANT

It started Sunday night when Mr. G and I watched The Amazing Race. For those of you not exposed to this show, it’s a reality show during which a number of 2-person teams travel to different places in the world and perform certain tasks usually related to the culture of that area. The last team to check in after completing the tasks is usually eliminated from The Race. There were 5 teams left on Sunday’s show. One team is a mother and her adult son – Margie & Luke – who also happens to be deaf. Another team is two sisters – Jen & Lakisha – who seem (in MY OPINION) to have the “bitch” thing going really well. During the race, the teams retrieve their clues from Race Boxes placed along the course. At two of the Race Boxes, there were some questionable encounters between the 2 afore mentioned teams at which point one of the sisters called the deaf son a “bitch”. [I am amazed that these things happen, but perhaps I shouldn’t be. After all, they are competing for $1 million.] This all led to a confrontation when these 2 teams, along with the brother & sister team of Victor & Tammy, arrived at the Pit Stop at almost the same time. It wasn’t all that pretty, but I guess it could have been worse.

My take on the whole incident is that you just don’t treat other people that way – thank you, Mom, for respecting others and teaching me to do so also. Yup, it’s a contest. Yup, there’s a bunch of money involved. And the reality of the reality shows is that the REAL people come out from behind their nice little masks and become bitches (female AND male). I don’t care who started what… get over it!! OMG… am I being a bitch?

The email that started all my wonderings follows:


When I stand up for myself and my beliefs, they call me a bitch.
When I stand up for those I love, they call me a bitch.
When I speak my mind, think my own thoughts or do things my own way; they call me a bitch.

Being a bitch means I won’t compromise what’s in my heart.
It means I live my life MY way.
It means I won’t allow anyone to step on me.

When I refuse to tolerate injustice and speak against it, I am defined as a bitch.
The same thing happens when I take time for myself instead of being everyone’s maid, or when I act a little selfish.

It means I have the courage and strength to allow myself to be truly who I am and won’t become anyone else’s idea of what they think I ‘should’ be.

I am outspoken, opinionated and determined. I want what I want and there is nothing wrong with that! So try to stomp on me, just try to douse my inner flame, try to squash every ounce of beauty I hold within me. You won't succeed. And if that makes me a bitch ,so be it.. I embrace the title and am proud to bear it.

In my way of thinking (which may be a little off-balance at times), this is being your own person and you don’t have to be a bitch to be comfortable in your own skin. IN MY OPINION, being disrespectful of others makes you the bitch.

Also included in the email were these:
B = Babe
I = In
T = Total
C = Control of
H = Herself

B = Beautiful
I = Intelligent
T = Talented
C = Charming
H = Hell of a Woman

B = Beautiful
I = Individual
T = That
C = Can
H = Handle 'anything'

Although I still don’t like the word, I don’t find the above acronyms negative. Just a little brain exercise… Can you think of a positive acronym for BITCH?

Thanks for stopping by... have a great Tuesday.
P.S. Bathroom renovation is ALMOST done (*smiles*)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Manic Monday ~ PLANT

I really would like to PLANT a small vegetable garden this year. Those grocery store tomatoes don't hold a candle to a home-grown, fresh-from-the-garden tomato. Alas, my back yard has been torn up to replace the main “IN” water pipe to our house. The junction with the city pipe is in the middle of our back yard. I don’t know why (maybe… so many politicians create an environment for a lacking of common sense). And with all the small hills and valleys created by this excavation, and because my balance these days leaves a lot to be desired, I have been contemplating the TV commercial for Topsy Turvy Tomato PLANTs. They look like this:
Greg, the plumber, heard me talking about it one day and told me about what he does along the same line (and even cheaper). He has been growing his own topsy turvy tomatoes for years. He uses the white buckets that he gets with plumbing stuff in it.
He washes them out, cuts a hole in the bottom of the bucket, fills it with soil, turns it on its side, plants a tomato plant in the hole in the bottom and hangs it by the handle off the back porch of his house.
My only suggestion is: USE MIRACLE GROW soil. Dang that stuff works GOOD!!
So… maybe I will PLANT some tomatoes soon – if I can talk Greg out of some white buckets.
You can visit more Manic Monday PLANT stories here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

update on renovations

Let’s see how far we have gotten in the last week…
This is pre-demo picture...
I told you the room is small.
This is the gutted room...
The gray stuff between the studs is blown-in insulation.

Last Monday and Tuesday we had all the old hot and cold water pipes replaced and locked into place. Our water to the master bath was back on for Tuesday night. The water pressure is incredible now… before it was almost a drip-drip-drip. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the guys put up the green wall (which is purple, btw), and started taping and mudding.

On Friday, the guy from the place that is making the tub surround, vanity top and window sill came and did measurements. These products will be done and installed on Wednesday, April 22nd. Instead of having those areas tiled, we decided to use a cultured marbled onyx. The color is seafoam.

This is what the room looked like on Friday when the guys left.
Mr. G and #1 son refinished the old vanity from that 70’s wood finish to a nice white enamel (it’s almost done). But we put it back in the room so correct measurement for its top could be taken.
On Monday there was more taping and mudding and then the texture goes on. Then Mr. G and #1 son must primer and paint the walls. We have been told that we will have to prime the new sheetrock at least twice and then put the color on it at least twice. OMG!! I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Number one son is so funny. Last night he started a pot (a HUGE pot) of chili. When he and Mr. G left this morning, he said: tell the guys lunch is on. Oh yes, today Mr. G is having that nasty basal cell carcinoma removed from his nose. The doctor says everything should be ok. I have to stay here and write out checks -- the new toilet and some other minor things should be here this morning. I don't think I have been this busy since I retired.
Thanks for stoppng by... have a great Tuesday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Roses

The above picture was taken on Easter Sunday 2009. It is a beautiful bush that grows next to our deck in the back yard. I cannot remember the name of the rose. It is a bush that our neighbors gave us for taking care of their sheltie, Smokey, last April. And this is what it looked like then.

Now Mr. G (hubby) gets a thrill out of imbedding plants in great topsoil laced with Miracle-Gro. And that is the credit we give for the beautiful rose bush pictured in my title.

The few years we had a vegetable garden he used Miracle-Gro soil and we harvested more tomatoes than I could use. That year I learned how to can tomatoes. The green peppers did ok, but we only got 2 cantaloupes (which were absolutely delicious). The garden was planted in an uncultivated place in our back yard. We were hoping to get another garden in this year but these renovations (that update will magically appear tomorrow, I hope) have put that on hold. I imagine we still could turn over the soil and get the plants in sometime soon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The first week of April & renovation progress

I was warned... renovations ALWAYS take longer than you expect... AND THEY COST AT LEAST TWICE AS MUCH!! There aren't any pictures because I am NOT going to crawl under this house to take pictures of our new copper pipes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I had a reaction to my new pain med and woke up not feeling so on-top-of-the-world this morning. By the time the boys got here, I had lost everything that was in my stomach – which pretty much amounted to nothing. I got R and #1 Son out of bed (the lazy bums) and I went back to bed. No April Fool joke there. Saltines and ginger ale for the rest of the day’s nourishment.

The next No April Fool joke was the electrical inspector. Good old Mario FAILED (the electrical inspection)!! GRRRRRRRRRR… Now this company is owned by a friend of Ron’s so he called, gave them heck, and Mario was back within the hour. All fixes were done at no charge. I wasn’t too on the ball, but I do remember that one of the things was that we did NOT need that exhaust fan in the bathroom. It’s there now and we will use it, but it was NOT mandatory. OH, right, he (Mario) had not vented the fan properly either. So with all this, the boys have been set back almost a whole day in this production.

Tuesday night I had made reservations at a local motel for Wednesday and Thursday night as that is when Greg thought the water would be turned off. I actually didn’t need the motel either night, but is sure was nice to get away from the boys (all of them) and the dog for a while. Now it looks like the water will be turned off Monday until Tuesday noon. OY!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

R and #1 Son are almost done refinishing the old vanity. It looks just wonderful. The wood stain is removed and sanded, and it has been painted a bright white. Saved a few hundred $$$ by doing that. The flooring will be a beige/tan/gold marbled Congoleum. Tile looks so nice but I am not a fan. I chose the paint color called “tropical dream” (it’s a light green). The tub surround, vanity top and window sill will be a cultured marbled onyx called “seafoam.” I found and oval mirrored medicine cabinet and sconces for either side of it with a similar oval base (in brushed nickel). I am so excited!! LOL and the sheet rock isn’t even up yet. BUT… the tub is in place!! It doesn’t appear to be as high as the old tub which will be a blessing for me – easier to get in and out. And we are putting in hand rails for safety.

The boys were here bright and early, and didn’t leave until after 6 p.m. They asked if we had a guest room. I offered them air mattresses on the sun porch. They laughed and went home. They believe they can have things done by Tuesday – plumbing, that is.

R and I took Ramona to obedience class. That dog has a real problem being in the same room with other dogs – especially small dogs. She could “sit and stay” forever as long as you have a treat in her hand to feed her every few seconds. But nothing else was working – she really wanted to herd that Chihuahua; and as long as the Chihuahua yapped, Ramona’s instinct and barking were set off. She tugged so hard on the leash that R pulled his back out trying to control her. From now on, #1 Son (the plus-sized former Marine) goes with me. But that dog KNEW I was pissed at her behavior; on the drive home, she stayed safely sitting in place on the back seat… NO problems. Now this bothers me why? I have never labeled myself as a “dog” person. I have always been a “cat” person. I thought having a dog and dealing with her training would give R something positive to do during his retirement. He always talks about the dogs he had (BIG dogs, not little dust mops). Yes, he said, a dog would be nice. And HE picked out Ramona. He chooses to do only what he wants to do. My hair gets shorter after every class – my temper also.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Last night I stayed at the motel room ALL BY MYSELF!!! It was so nice to have that huge king bed all for just ME!! I was in a much better mood this morning when I arrived at home.

I noticed that my laundry area is even looking like it’s been spruced up. The boys (Greg and Ron) have gone off to a BBQ picnic lunch and will be back to finish laying the new pipes in place (they will attach them starting Monday). Hopefully this weekend will be fairly quiet.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Thank goodness the weekend was quiet. The boys arrived about 9:30 this morning after stopping to pick up the new copper pipe and didn’t leave until after 7 this evening. We have NO water… well, that’s not quite the whole story. We have our neighbor’s hose hanging over our side fence so the toilet gets flushed. And I do have about 8 gallons of bottled water (we ‘do’ our own filtering). We aren’t doing any cooking… a salad, tuna sandwiches or a bowl of cereal. And the rest of the donuts that Ron brought in this morning. I just didn’t want to go to the Super 8 motel again tonight. I’ll deal with the lack of running water and sleep in my own bed, thank you very much. Also, baseball season has started and I’m not sure that the motel will have the channels I want to watch. The basketball finals (I thought it was MARCH Madness) have wiped out my Monday night TV favorites.

From all the drilling and sawing of pipes under my house, it sounds like they are making progress. I can't wait til this is done and we can start putting the bathroom together. Today starts week #3 on this project... they started digging up my back yard on March 16th.

Public Service Announcement


At five minutes and six seconds after 4 AM on the 8th of July this year, the time and date will be
04:05:06 07/08/09.

This will never happen again.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday, sweet Sunday

Well, WalMart has managed to bring back some 60's memories to my life. The new WalMart commercial for make-up that women can buy at their stores, uses a song I first heard in Flower Drum Song ~ "I Enjoy Being a Girl", sung by Nancy Kwan. I remember going to see this movie with my best friend, Debbie.

Another favorite song of mine from this Rogers and Hammerstein musical is "Sunday". During my life of having to hold down a job, this song would find its way into my Sunday thoughts frequently. And since today is Sunday, here is the song. (It's not the original movie video, but these 2 seem to enjoy the song also...)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Neck of the Woods ~ Old Town Sacramento

When I moved to Sacramento, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the city… or what I might find. About all I knew was that Sacramento is the capital of California and it is in north central California. The longer I live here, the more I find out about its amazing history.
The ‘new’ Sacramento city is to the right (east) of the yellow box and freeway in this picture. The yellow box designates Old Town Sacramento.
Being from New England, I had visited reconstructed colonial villages – some with original structures. Even some towns were of the colonial genre. But nothing compared to the thrill of the “Old West” that I found in Old Town Sacramento and then in more of the small town communities I have visited since.
There is so much to show you too… The buildings (with all the great shops to browse… tourist trap souvenir stores, also), fantastic restaurants (yum) and real cobble stone streets with wide plank sidewalks…
The Railroad Museum and the vintage trains that run through Old Town…

But today, I will tell you about the Delta King. Although I have never had the pleasure of spending the night in/on this luxury hotel, I imagine it would be a marvelous experience.

“The Delta King is an authentic 285-foot riverboat. The King and her identical twin, the Delta Queen, were christened on May 20, 1927, and began their daily river voyages between San Francisco and Sacramento in June of that year. At 6:00 p.m. each evening, the grand ladies of the Delta left their docks for the 10 hour trip that included prohibition era drinking, jazz bands, gambling and fine dining. A stateroom was $3.50, but for a dollar and "’your own blanket" the night could be spent on the Cargo Deck.
“The King and Queen reigned on the Sacramento River until the late 1930's when an increase in the number of roads, bridges and automobiles made riverboating a less efficient means of transportation. Depression and World War II signaled the end of the sternwheel era and both the King and Queen were drafted into the U. S. Navy to serve on San Francisco Bay as net tenders, floating barracks, troop transports and hospital ships.
“At the conclusion of the War, the Delta Queen was purchased and taken via the Panama Canal to the Mississippi River where she still serves. The engines of the Delta King were taken for spare parts. The King was shuttled between Canada and California as a derelict with hopes of becoming a floating Ghiradelli Square or Chinese Restaurant dashed at each turn by sinkings and litigations.
In 1984, after being sunk for 18 months in San Francisco Bay, the Delta King was towed to Old Sacramento, where it underwent a complete renovation. Five pain-staking years later the Delta King reopened to reign, once again, as the heralded monarch of the Sacramento River.”
Today, The Delta King is permanently moored in downtown Old Sacramento and offers a retreat to a bygone era, with an emphasis on contemporary amenities (such as free wi-fi). A dedicated crew, committed to first class service, makes your stay aboard the Delta King a nostalgic memory of days gone by.
Accommodations: The Captain’s Quarters is the Delta King’s deluxe suite. It is located on the upper deck at the bow of the boat in the original wheelhouse. Two additional bedrooms can adjoin the Captain's Quarters through a private passage-way – all this for a mere $550 per night. (There are also single rooms -- with attached bath -- available.)
The Pilothouse Restaurant: Even if you are not spending the night aboard this nostalgic paddle wheeler, Chef Julian Vasquez’s menus are drawing rave reviews. Julian is focused on fresh, healthy, local food. His plates include grass fed beef, local lamb, the freshest seafood and free-range chicken combined with dazzling sauces. There is a great wine list in an old sea world atmosphere and beautiful setting. There is even a drawbridge just south of the King’s mooring.

As much as the setting is of the Old West and the Old Town, everything you find in Old Sacramento is pretty much up-to-date. What’s that song from Oklahoma! … Everything’s Up To Date In Kansas City, it’s gone about as fer as it can go… Old Town Sacramento is a trip that I take a few times a year (never on a weekend in tourist season, though). It’s difficult for me to get around and I tire easily, so I am pretty happy that I live in THESE days instead of THOSE days. And, even if I only sit on a bench and watch the river traffic and the tourists go by, it’s a trip I enjoy a lot.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting a spot in My Neck of the Woods.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Only The Good Friday #2

Sorry I am so late in posting this... but it is too good not to post on OTGF...

Amidst all the goings-on around here, I was finally able to get to some email that I had put back and labeled ‘read later.’ This story came from my elderly aunt in Wisconsin.

In 2003, police in Warwickshire, England, opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. It had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a greyhound female, to the nearby Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, run by a man named Geoff Grewcock and known as a willing haven for animals abandoned, orphaned or otherwise in need.

Geoff Grewcock and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved.

They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.

The dog had other ideas. No-one remembers now how it began, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It wouldn’t matter if it was a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, probably, a rhinoceros, Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.

Geoff Grewcock relates one of the early incidents. “We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them.”

“But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to not only feel close to her but to settle into their new surroundings.

“She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose.”

Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary’s resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.

And one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, 11 weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the roe deer with affection and makes sure nothing is matted in her fur.

“They are inseparable,” says Geoff Grewcock. “Bramble walks between her legs and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary. It’s a real treat to see them.”

Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next orphan or victim of abuse.

From left, Toby, a stray Lakelanddog; Bramble, an orphaned roe deer; Buster,a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; Sky, an injured barn owl; and Jasmine

Doing what she does best, being a mother