Monday, June 26, 2017

Things I'm Enjoying This Monday-And A Couple Things That Are Frustrating Me!!

One of the many reasons I don't do serious (other than visiting family) travel during the summer is the chance to stay at home. Warm weather, combined with few regular commitments and no long term travel means that I have more time to work on some more "fun" yet intensive projects. Along, of course, with my goal of self care and enjoying my yard and home.

A few of the things I have been enjoying the past few days:

I figure the girly girls will like these, although I prefer the yellow colors.
I am loving my re-purposing of fabric and yarn supplies so far. Some fabric pieces were turned into American Girl Doll quilts and pillow cases. A large fabric piece that I decided was way to bright for a dress will become a DIY low sew Kimono top to wear with solid bottoms and tanks.  Pictures of finished Kimono to come.

This fabric was just wayyy to bright for a dress, even for me!

But it wil look great like this-or so I hope
I'm having serious fun playing with my Echo Dot. I am easily amused but I love easy to use new technology.   So far my Echo plays music from all my play lists, reads audible books and even kindle books, gives me a flash briefing on all kinds of news and topics, orders on amazon for me, and turns off my lights with just a word. As I said, I'm easily amused. Oh, and I have Alexa set up to play timed music for sleep, make sleep sounds and do a five minute meditation!!

The mainly non-cook is also enjoying doing some cooking, using my slow cooker and those cooler days. A gourmet cook as such I am not, but my family has been demanding deviled short ribs (my mother's recipe) for longer than I can count. So that and baking patriotic and summer shaped cookies here and there along with savory breads has kept me busy and been fun (in the summer especially we are not rice, potato or pasta folks. We rely on those gourmet deli salads available, or nice bread).  For my next cookie?  These artist palette cookies look like a blast. And yes, I do sell my cookies and baked goods.

Mustard, bread crumbs and so very much more!


I read the new Don Winslow book.  In less than two days.  That good.  Rarely do I become entirely obnoxious about what people should and should not read, watch or much of anything else. Don Winslow is the best author you have never read. If you haven't read him, read him (but not Savages).  Read about him. That's all that I can say. Of course I also read the book The Widow, by Fiona Barton which was ........different.  The Force came out on Tuesday and already David Mamet is going to make it into a movie. Mr Winslow has some strong opinions on the drug war. I tend to agree with him but that's another story for another day.


Because of my added down time, I've gotten chapters and directions written for the "smelly stuff and pampering" part of my DIY gift book.  Since my no spend month doesn't start till the weekend, I grabbed supplies for all the projects so my testers can begin. I just need to take pictures of me as I do the process.  I am so very excited!!!!!  Unfortunately, this will probably not be ready to release long before Christmas, but this is a DYI gift book, not a DYI Christmas book. Or so I tell myself.

Oils and scents and sugars, oh my!
And finally, I am loving sitting in my jungle like pergola area (see below) daily and watching the dogs chill while I suck down my sparkling water and swing back and forth doing absolutely nothing.


Unfortunately, my jungle place of respite needs work, but it's still my go to place for morning coffee and more.

Why yes, the lawn does need to be mowed and trimmed. At least the dog doesn't care


Now, becaue into every life some rain, or at least a few dissappointments must fall, these are my two big frustrations these days:

Have you wanted something, had kind of a picture in your head and absolutely nothing worked??? This rarely happens to me, but when it does, let me tell you!!  I am on the search for a nice purse that doesn't look like a brief case but is large enough to hold file folders, a day planner and my notebook. Sounds simple?  Not so darned much. I like a small purse like the one below that just holds wallet, keys, chapstick, hand lotion and such. But I go to some board meetings and other situations where I want other things with me. The other day I bought three, count them three purses (two shown here) and I am not sure ANY of them work. Argggggggggggggggg!!!!!


This is supposed to be the year of the yard and the patio. Our patio needs help and this was the year (last year was the year of of the front yard and tree removal). There was a very large dead tree behind the pergola, and there was no way to remove it without damaging one side of the pergola.  The vines need to be cut down (those are grapes), the pergola needs to be stabilized and then we may want to winterize the thing. .........AND we can't decide between just a large umbrella or a metal gazebo on the actual patio.  Why is this so frustrating?  Getting a contractor to call me, even to turn up and get an estimate is like, well, pulling teeth. I know there is a housing boom and I realize that I am not putting on an addition, but you would think someone would want my hard won money and/or have some free time. Anyone else having this issue???!!!???




And so it goes. What have you all been up to lately that is fun (or less than fun)?

11 comments:

  1. Hi Barbara,
    I can't wait to see your kimono when it's done. As far as contractors... I feel your pain. I contacted numerous exterior house painters via their websites and via phone. One came out, looked at my house and said he'd email me the estimate. I never heard from him again even though I called & left message with my email account, phone number, & street address again in case he had lost it. Second painter who said he'd come out at end of week to give an estimate never showed up. Other exterior painters never responded. I finally had success from a national franchise paint company on HomeAdvisor.com. I think that there's so much work out there for contractors that they can be choosy over which projects they want to take on. I had other house projects done earlier in the Spring and luckily didn't have too much trouble finding contractors for those projects. I wish you luck on finding someone for your yard projects!

    Sue

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    1. Hi Sue. That's why I'm being as patient as possible. I'd also like to get someone in corner before we start looking at the bigger things-like knocking down walls and such. Patience is a virtue I think!

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  2. Recent years I've received several calls a day from contractors wanting work. A couple years ago I talked with one, explained the small job I needed, mentioned the possibility of a larger job, too, and he made an appointment -- never showed. Knew I wouldn't want him. Another week, I finally talked with another caller -- I explained again the project. Also, I stressed my previous experience and if for some reason he couldn't come to please call me -- he agreed -- never showed, never called to cancel or reschedule. Another dud. I still get several calls a day, until most recently if I answer, rather than letting them go to my answering machine, I pick up, but answer no questions, immediately establish who's calling, then announce -- even if I have to talk over them -- that we don't trust phone solicitors, don't do business with them and tell them never to call again, then I promptly disconnect. The past two weeks have had significantly decreased calls, but only time will tell if this will last. Being on the no call list is useless. Last year I found a couple local handymen -- one a licensed electrician, the other a carpenter -- both with extensive experience in all aspects of new home construction and refurbishing house type jobs. They have each, separately, taken care of all the work I've needed and assure me they will in the future. Hope you come up with some good guys like these -- agree about patience.

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    1. I keep on searching. In this area the housing boom is well, pretty frightening and there are never enough workers so I do understand it's not laziness.

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  3. I'm a long-time reader but can't recall at the moment which section of Denver you are located in. A friend's husband runs Bunn and Sons Home Renovation out of Broomfield, CO - you can check them out on Facebook or at http://www.bunnandsons.com/ to see if they serve your area.

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    1. Rhonnie, I'm in Littleton. I will check them out. In this area there is just so very much competition and the work Ineed doe is kind of small potatoes...

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  4. Your yard and your morning coffee area are calling me Barbara. Morning coffee, evening glass of wine. :-) I covet a yard.

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    1. Ha! The truth is when I moved here I didn't want a yard and I would settle for a patio. But since the person who lives with me is the yard ad plant whisperer, I take advantage of it while I have it.

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  5. I had mentioned to my sister one day that this is when I wished I had a man, in reference to a job that needed doing. She said - hire one. Easier said than done! I had fun making a summer bucket list which included a call to a handyman to do some yard projects (reclad the garden shed, make a firepit, install the umbrella clothesline). He stopped by 3 wks ago to assess the job. I haven't seen him since. Granted, I did say there was no rush. It did motivate me to clean up the scrap wood that I'd been piling up behind the shed and get the upright steel pole of the umbrella clothes line fixed. So that's a plus. I'm still waiting for another fellow who said he would get around to fixing a piece of fascia at the roof line that has come loose. I guess the key to waiting is to find something else to do. To that end, I volunteered to do some food prep at a gr 5 & 6 camp at a nearby lake. There's been a lot of grass cutting and the lawn looks great. There's rhubarb in the freezer for rhubarb crisps. The peonies have bloomed in the last 2 days and yesterday I noticed the first cacti blooms. On the to-do list today - clean the perennial garden.

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    1. It sounds like you also have been busy. It's not like I dont have other things to do util I find someone, so I'll keep at it!

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  6. I use Yelp to locate well rated service people, and so far I've been pretty pleased. I located a handyman, landscaper, plumber, electrician, and gardener after reading lots of Yelp reviews, and so far they have all shown up as promised. I think it's the power of the transparency the internet brings - they realize they are only as good/busy as their most recent reviews. Might be worth a try.

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