Monthly Archives: June 2014

Not quite as old as a rock

I recently had one of those stupid decade-marking birthdays.

snakeskin

I’m mostly okay with aging – I’m not fighting it with dyes or potions or knives – but I miss my younger self, rather my younger ache-free self.

mutant strawberry

On this particular birthday, we went for ice cream and the teen behind the counter flirted heavily with N, but called me “ma’am”* very pointedly and twice – normally I’d address that with amusement and mild contempt for the youth of today, but it stung a bit this time. And on that day I also accepted the fact that my knee had gone to hell and wasn’t coming back any time soon.

So it’s a couple of weeks later, and I’ve been banned from hiking, stairs, ladders, and hills (we live on a hill for christsakes). I’m bummed and it’s slowed down the progress on the house and curtailed my typical summertime activities.  Another downer is Italia going out of the World Cup.  I’m not much of a sports fan, but I can commit to something that only happens every few years.  In order for us to watch the matches though, we had to buy cable TV.  I hate it.  I thought we’d try to get our money’s worth and tried out a few of the channels with those ghastly home flipping/shopping/designing shows and in the end, I just want to forget it all happened…

I know the people on TV aren’t quite real, but those houses do exist, and the dumpsters of utterly wasted materials are very real too.  Granted, tragically awful aesthetics and very broken things need to be addressed, but walls being knocked out for mega-refrigerators and perfectly fine stone and ceramic being smashed and tossed rather than extracted for re-use, or left in place makes me want to vomit.

Stone is ripped out of the earth and shouldn’t be a trend.

It should be banned altogether or require some sort of hoop jumping to get it, but not in an exclusive sense to make it more in demand.

pink marble

We recently stayed in another fine old hotel, and I was happy to find that they retained the possibly original pink marble floor.  The rest of the bathroom was done up in the latest trend – including a clashing granite sink top cut in a stupid shape for the stupid sink, but the floor was just lovely because of its age and it came from the days things stuck around a bit longer.

I’m thrilled we can cancel the TV now (but the World Cup also offered up some premium knitting time).

*We don’t live in the south or within a community where ma’am is a sign of respect – here it’s hurled at no-longer-young ladyfolk in sneering tones…

Don’t get me started on Mrs…

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Old blue quilt

oldbluequilt-full

Many years ago, I found this old narrow reversible quilt at my old favorite thrift store.  I loved that it was made from scraps, improvisational, hand and machine-sewn, and the fact that it was just plain old, and I like old sh*t.

I sewed a sleeve on the opposite of what I considered the more public side and hung it in my bedroom to ward off the cold seeping through the walls in my old apartment – I loved that place too because it was old – but damn, it was also cold.

oldbluequilt-ties

It’s tufted with knots of white, blue, and reddish-pink (perhaps formerly red?) wool yarn.  The interior might be filled with wool as well as it’s just a mass of somewhat disgusting clumpy lumps now, but I’d need to perform a little surgery to find out.

(And I don’t think I really want to see what’s in it in case it’s nasty).

oldbluequilt-pinwheel

The reverse has a pinwheel and some nice fabrics not seen on the front.  This pinwheel got into my deep brain and caused me to make many half-demented pinwheels last summer, or maybe the summer before…  I think I probably have enough to make something from them… I should find them.

oldbluequilt-squiggle

I like this squiggly block.

The back has a few stained blocks, but were stained in their former life perhaps as clothing, as the stains were sewn over.

A few faint splotches look suspiciously like blood, or a really robust coffee mixed with a hearty and delicious red wine.

(That is also part of the reason I chose the other side to display).

oldbluequilt-plaid

And there are some lovely hand stitches too.

I also love that delicate blue pattern on the left side.

I can’t date it – there are definitely some old fabrics in it, perhaps from the 1910s, and the red, white, and blue color scheme could place it in WWII times, but some of the other fabrics have a 1950s and ’60s vibe?  Though the shape is also older – long and narrow – somewhat too big for a crib and too small for a twin bed.  It would probably best fit one of those narrow cot-like beds (don’t they have a name???).

But it seems that it could have been made from old clothes from a number of members of a family perhaps for a notable baby or a soldier – as a memento, or a comfort for someone leaving home.

But things are rarely as they seem, right?

When I was trying to pare down my things after I moved to N’s house, I gave it to him to give to one of his family members who was having babies at the time – I thought it would be nice for a wall in a kid’s room.  But he wanted to keep it, though we didn’t get around to hanging it up then.

Or in that apartment of late of which I’d rather not speak or remember.

And we still haven’t put it up in the new house (or anything else yet until the painting is done…

rather, all of the repairs that need to be done to the walls before I can even begin to paint them).

But I rescued it from storage a few months ago, and I’m  really glad I still have it.

And I love hate love hate love hate love that he enables me in the keeping of old sh*t.

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Knot or not?

I’m adamant for leaving some original details in a home, but I’m having a terrible time deciding whether to keep our knotty pine paneling or paint over it.

knotty pine paneling

This is one of the few times I wished the previous owner painted over something so I could just throw up my arms and say oh well, stripping it would be a nightmare and involve chemicals, so I’ll just paint over it too.

And in theory, I could paint it knowing that it would be possible to restore it later by stripping it, but who would?

I could also preserve it by drywalling over it, but that would involve either renting a truck or having the drywall delivered, and that would cost more than a gallon of paint and primer (and I know, maybe two gallons of primer, the really heavy-duty kind).

knotty pine

I really hate early American decor, country style, rustic/primitive/PA Dutch stuff, and I’m not a fan of the cabin look unless I’m in a cabin.  Since we’re in a place with lots of trees and birds, it does often feel that we’re in a cabin, but then when we go to cabins it would feel like we didn’t leave home, and I want to feel like I’m in a cabin when I’m actually in a cabin, and when I’m home I like light open spaces.

We’ve also got some cheap 1970s fake wood paneling that I’m miserably attempting to fill in with spackle (more on that later) and have no regret “ruining,” but the pine is giving me pause…

knotty pine paneling & paint

It also begs for questionable colors in the pea soup and snot families…

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Oh deer…

We’ve had a new neighbor hanging about recently.

Image

And she kindly ate some of the poison ivy still left after I pulled out an entire garbage bag full of the evil vines.

She’s under my “office” window now, looking up when the phone rings; and earlier, rather creepily stared at me as she took a piss. Perhaps she thinks that part of the yard is hers now, which is fine.

I’m glad I never ended up using any of the nasty chemicals I got to kill the ivy – I worried about the stuff getting into our well, but she would have been affected by it too, if not more so?

deer2 014 - Copy

But she’s also a kick in my tired ass that the garden needs a much taller fence…

deer2 003 - Copy

Not to mention I also need to revive said garden… but I knew we wouldn’t have enough time this year, so we renewed our CSA subscription with the liked/hated organic farm… more mutants to toss down the pie hole!

kitchen curtain

…as well as fresh herbs once more, thankfully.

The kitchen also got some freshly sewn curtains – the doe can’t spy on me now…

(at least in that room).

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