Friday, October 30, 2015

Mysterious Happenings, One More Time

Five years ago, I did a post in October about some mysterious happenings that had occurred at my house.  I will share this post again for those of you who may not have seen it.  For those who remember it, you might want to skip on along! 

I'm not big into Halloween, but this is the sort of post that may go with the theme.  I am pleased to say that these happenings are not happening now!  Well, maybe they are...I am blaming it on the goblins.  I had a phone call from our renter next door at the office building and found out our furnace there was on the blink.  Last night, BG was at The Project and found the new furnace there wasn't acting right, either.  So, I am awaiting the repairman to take a look at both of them.  The one furnace is brand new, so it must be the goblins messing with us!    

And now, the post from 5 years ago titled Mysterious Happenings.

What is a strange happenings post without a photo of a haunted house?  Well, to be honest, I'm not sure that this old vacant house that I took photos of the other day is haunted...but it makes a good prop!  Cue the scary music!  Woooooo!!!

Since Halloween is right around the corner and even tho I'm really not all that into Halloween, I still thought this might be a good time to share the story of some unexplained happenings here in my own house.  This may turn out to be rather long.  Hope you stick with me and let me know what you think!   I saved the strangest story for the end.

In recent years, we've been experiencing some strange sounds and happenings.  One night while I was at work and my daughter and husband were downstairs....she was at her computer desk and he was watching television.  They both heard what sounded like someone stepping down off of a chair, then scooted the chair across the upstairs bathroom floor.  Then after that they heard a door shut.  Both of them ran up the stairs to see what was going on, but saw nothing out of place.

Another time, while they were downstairs, they heard what sounded like someone walking down the hall.  Thinking I might have gotten home early, they came up the stairs to see me...but it wasn't me!  I was still at work.

Yet another time, my daughter was sitting in her computer chair at the desk and a cool breeze went by behind her and she caught a whiff of a floral perfume.

Both my children have heard music in the house, when there wasn't a tv on or music playing.  My son even walked around the house trying to determine where it was coming from....didn't find anything.  The neighbors were quiet, so it wasn't them...and their houses aren't real close to ours.

I've heard loud sounds in the bedroom.  Sometimes it sounds like a chain or something is sliding down the wall.  That is about the only way I know to describe it.

One night there was a loud crash, and the cat took off running.  Another time, she got spooked and her fur stood on end with her tail getting big.  There was nothing to be seen.

I think the strangest happening of all is the day I was getting ready for work.  I had showered and had opened my bottle of foundation preparing to put on my makeup.  Nature was calling, so I sat down the bottle of foundation and went around the corner...there is a half wall between the vanity and toilet...when I finished and went back to the sink to wash my hands, I noticed that there were drops of makeup on the floor.   Looking closer, I noticed that these drops were about the size of a nickel and were almost perfectly spaced in a row leading back to the wall between two closet doors opposite the vanity.  I had a plant stand with a plant next to the wall between the two doors...our bathroom is rather large...and there were some drops on the leaves, too.  Well, I had to go to work so in my haste I cleaned up the mess and finished getting ready and didn't think to take photos.   I was certainly very puzzled as to how that happened.   But when I got home and told my family, I showed them the drops still on the plant and a few had ended up veering off in another direction on the floor that I had overlooked while cleaning up the mess,  so they did believe me!  I am wondering to this day how that happened.  My hubby said I must have shaken the bottle.  No, I didn't and even if I had I would have had to have thrown the stuff over my shoulder, because the drops were directly behind where I was standing.  And how would they have ended up so perfectly matched in size and evenly spaced?  I didn't count the drops, but there were quite a few!  I can't think of an explanation for this.  I didn't shake the bottle, the bottle was unopened and just where I left it.   Strange!!! 

Okay, you probably think I've really lost it!  But all of these things have really happened.  I don't really believe in ghosts, but I have no explanation for any of the many strange sounds and happenings we've experienced.

How about you?  Have any strange goings on in your house?  If so, please share!  I wish someone could tell me how my makeup/foundation ended up in perfect drops lined up on the floor!!  Very, very strange.....

Sadly, I may have mentioned this in a past post, but that beautiful old abandoned house was burned down by vandals.  I had always wished that someone would buy the property and restore it.  

Have a fantastic Friday and weekend!

Edited to add:  Both furnaces are up and running and were quick fixes.  Yay!!
xo Cheryl

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bits 'n Bobs

~wish I was here~

I am sitting here watching the leaves drift by my window and listening to the carpenter working in the bathroom.  And thinking that this would be a good time to write a blog post. 

Trouble is, when I put my fingers to the keys and have a blank page before me, it's not that thoughts just fly out the window and join those leaves drifting to the ground.  Not at all.  Fact is, that there are too many ideas and thoughts running circles in my head like a hampster on a wheel and I don't know where to start.

So, I'll just begin typing and we'll see where I meander to on this rainy day in late October.

I've been thinking lately how fast the calendar pages are turning. Remember when many of us were tired of the cold winter and were eagerly awaiting spring?  It only seems like a few months ago and now here we are knocking on the door of another winter.  How did that happen so quickly?

So much to do and so little time.  Yep, that is my mindset as of today.  I'm getting older and feeling it today.  I won't talk about the late run to the home center and not getting back home until 10:30 last night.  Okay, maybe I'll mention that I traipsed through 3 home centers and even went to WallyWorld while I was near one.

It was necessary.  The trip, that is.  Mr. Carpenter decided that a new window we were going to get should be put in now rather than later.  It was our fault that we had forgotten about it while we were there last time.  I suppose being forgetful goes along with getting older? 

I did a little surfing on a few blogs today and ran across a great idea for a wall arrangement behind my entertainment center.  That wall has been bugging me for quite awhile.  Now to find the right stuff.  I will be shopping the house first.  The idea I found can be seen at Brenda's Tweak it Tuesday.  Scroll down the page and it is entry No. 2.   

One of the things on my mind lately has been sprucing up my house.  Just a good deep cleaning would help.  I took off the drapes and washed them and rehung them the other day.  I replaced the sheers, too, as a few snags could be seen courtesy of kitty claws.  I only buy window treatments that are washable, nothing too fancy, because of the cats.  Comfortable and cozy is my style, but it still needs a little sprucing up now and then.  And a few changes are always good.

Along with the rain, the temperature has dropped.  It's going to be a chilly night at the first game of the World Series in KC tonight.  Go Royals!!

Hope your weather and day has been going well for you.  Enjoy these remaining days of October!

Note:  Some distractions prevented me from finishing this post earlier today, but I'll leave it as is.  It's still sprinkling here, hope it's over by game time in KC!  :)

xo Cheryl

Friday, October 23, 2015

What a Mess...Then and Now

After such a long dry spell, we are finally getting a little rain today.  I can't remember the last time we've had more than just a few sprinkles.  So far, the rain isn't much today, either, but we'll take what we can get.  Our county is in the "moderate drought" zone.  

And, of course, the drought affects the color of our trees this fall.  They aren't as pretty as I've seen in years past.  Once in awhile I'll see a pretty tree such as the lone tree above standing in the midst of walnuts which have already dropped their leaves.  The prettiest trees I've seen are in parks or someone's yard.  

Warning!  I've been too busy, and too tired, to post since last time so this may turn into a lengthy post to try to catch up.  But if you have a messy job coming up, you will want to read on to see what my sweet mother had to deal with once upon a time!  

First, though, I do want to thank everyone for your comments on my last post.  I think we are all pretty much in agreement on "blogging without obligation."  Everyone recognizes that there are seasons when commenting and posting just can't be done as often as we'd like.

Now, on to what's new at Pond Hollow.  I don't know whether to tell this...just like some days I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  I've chosen to tell it like it is...just like I choose to laugh over crying.  Crying makes my eyes puffy.

Most of you have surely forgotten, but I mentioned about 4 years ago that we were going to redo our main bathroom.  Remember this is a 60's ranch-style house and has just one bathroom upstairs and one bathroom downstairs.  

That may seem like a big pain in the tush to those that have 3 or 4 bathrooms, but I can remember not having a bathroom at all until I was 9 or 10.  The house we lived in burned down when I was 9 years old.  It didn't have a bathroom.  We just had chamber pots in cold weather (we just called them pots) which was a round metal container large enough to sit on with a lid and handle to carry.  In warmer weather, we used an outhouse.  Washing hands was done in a bowl with a bucket of water with a dipper nearby.  Or outside we just pumped out water from an outside well.  Primitive, huh?  

I want to tell a little sad story from that time of primitive living.  When I think about it, my trials and tribulations regarding our "projects" seem to pale in comparison and I try...well, sorta try...not to complain too much.

When I was probably 8 or so, one of my chores was taking out the chamber pot and dumping it., it makes me cringe even today when I think about it and, as you can see, I've never forgotten morning I was carrying the nasty pot through the kitchen and had gotten to the next room where there was a threshold between that room and the kitchen that was raised and I tripped over the blasted thing.  Oh No!  You guessed it, I fell forward and the nasty pot lid came off and all the contents spilled out on the floor.  

My poor mother.  She was understandably livid and I got a few swats on the behind for being clumsy, but then she had that whole mess to clean up.  Unfortunately, the pot was pretty full.  The room was just sort of an enclosed porch and I vaguely remember boxes of stuff like canning jars and so forth out there.  I don't know what was ruined or even how long it took her to clean the mess up.  I think I went into hiding for awhile.  

Back to the present...I haven't had to clean up messes like the one my mother had, but one of our cats has taken to peeing where they aren't supposed to.  For example, BG left a sack of plumbing stuff on the floor night before last and I saw the puddle when I went to pick up the sack yesterday.  I spent an hour scrubbing that up because while I was on my hands and knees, I just cleaned the whole kitchen floor.  And it is a good sized floor, too.  Any way, as soon as I figure out which kitty it is, I'm pretty sure it is either Peanut or Callie, then another home for her will have to be found.  That is a deal breaker for me. 

And why would BG have plumbing stuff in our kitchen, you might wonder?  The bathroom we wanted to redo 4 years ago is finally going to get done.  We are slow, there's no doubt about that, but getting someone nailed down to do a job in this town is nigh impossible sometimes.

We had one guy that promised on 2 different occasions, beginning 4 years ago, that he would do it.  Turns out he likes his alcohol more than working, so it's probably just as well he didn't begin.  The next fella was from several towns away, but he came and looked it over and said he could do it.  Even sent me an email about the project.  Then nothing.  We called, he didn't answer.  We didn't know if he had an accident, gotten sick, or what.  Called numerous times and left messages.  Nothing.  

Well, we finally got the drift that he didn't want to do the job, but why not just tell us, for crying out loud?!  Then time passed, we painted the bathroom as it was a shade of tan, which I since have grown tired of, and resigned ourselves to having to go to Plan B.  

But I wasn't happy with Plan B, so BG located someone who lives in a nearby town who does ceramic tile work and he came by and said he would do the job.  Yippee!  He will begin Monday.  

I wanted ceramic tile around the bathtub, not a surround like we put in the other house.  Not every carpenter such as the one that worked on The Project does ceramic work, we found out.  This guy keeps extremely busy and we've had to wait on him for a couple of months now, but what's a few months when you've been waiting 4 years?  

 ~where vanity will sit, plumbing needs moving - the toilet is on other side of divider on right - the white is where mirror was~
BG has been tearing out the old sheetrock which had tile on it and redoing some electric and the plumbing you see in the photo has to be moved over for the new vanity.  We didn't start on this project until this week because I we didn't want to have to run downstairs in the middle of the night when nature called any sooner than necessary.  It's very inconvenient having the bathroom torn up and I've wished many times already for another one upstairs.  But when I remember what my mother had to deal with way back when, I think it's not so bad and I can handle it.  It's only for a little while.   

I'm still pondering paint colors.  I picked up some samples from Sherwin Williams.  Two of the colors, Rain and Rainwashed, I had seen in photos of bathrooms on Pinterest and liked them.  But, the colors look really different in the sample.  They have a grayish tint to them and I'm not at all fond of gray.  I'm still leaning toward a very light aqua.  

I have made 3 trips to the home center this week for this project.  BG went with me on 2 of these trips.  I had wanted to keep our old vanity as it was about 5 feet long and had a lot of storage.  But, in taking the old vanity top off, it was evident that it should be replaced.  So I picked out one that is 4 foot long and is oak (my favorite wood).  I like the darker wood, too, but they didn't have one in stock that I liked well enough to bring home.  Anyway, the shorter vanity and placement of the bowl means that BG has to move the plumbing over so the drain pipe will clear the drawers.  Hopefully, all this work will go smoothly and get done tomorrow.  Then it will be back to work in his spare time on The Project.  I'm very blessed to have a hubby who can and is willing to do many of these jobs himself.  It does save us a ton of money!

One last photo I have to share...while waiting in the loading area at the home center this week for some waterproof drywall to be loaded, I couldn't help but watch the scene in front of me.  These 2 guys were trying very hard to strap the mattress set down.  I left before they did, so I don't know if they got it secured any better than what it looks like here.  lol!  I hope they made it home okay!

I hope your week has been a good one.  Have a nice day and fantastic weekend!  

xo Cheryl

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thoughts On Blogging And Some Fall Color

When BG got home from work yesterday, I talked him into riding along with me to the nearest town that has a Taco Bell.  I was really hungry for a Taco Salad and didn't have the fixings in the house for one, and I use every excuse in the book to keep from cooking these days.  I also had another ulterior motive for going and that was to look for some pretty autumn color. 

I love this park as it has some beautiful trees and part of it overlooks the Missouri River.  The leaves are already falling making a carpet on the ground and I always wonder why the prettiest colors seem to fall the quickest.  Not fair, I say!  The autumn color is so beautiful but you have to get out and enjoy it when you can because it is all too soon gone. 

Now I have to get something said.  How do you tell your friends that you just don't have time for them?  For those of you that may still be reading here and think I don't want to visit you any longer...nothing could be further from the truth.  

To be honest, while I was away from blogging because of the flu bug, I thought that it would be a perfect time just to fade away and say goodbye to blogging.  But, I can't do it.  The time may come and soon, but I just can't do it yet.  I have stories floating around in my head right now just begging to be written when I find the time.
I love to write in my "online journal" when I can and I love visiting my blog friends and see what is happening in their world.  But the honest truth is that I just can't do all the commenting and visiting that I'd like to do right now.  Maybe I'm just slow.  That's part of it, I'm sure.  I love comments as much as the next person, and I feel bad when I don't have time to leave them myself.   I hope you understand.

So, for now, while my world is topsy-turvy with many projects to finish and other stuff going on that I haven't talked worries, nothing serious...I'll just keep on doing what I've been doing.  Blogging without obligation. 

All this said to just let everyone know that I still love you and haven't left you out because I've lost interest in your blog.  Nope, it's me...not you!  I hope life gets back to normal, whatever that is, before my next birthday.  That is my goal.  I hope all the projects we have started will be finished and I hope to have my house organized by that time, too.  I'm purging and throwing out stuff I don't need or love and I have a long way to go.  Take care, friends.  

xo Cheryl

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Book, A Before and After, and A Question

Oh, how I love beautiful fall days.  The leaves are changing every day.  

I am feeling much better, but the energy levels are still not up to par yet.  There is much to do this fall and so I hope I can dial it up from the slow mode to a faster pace soon.  So far, I feel like the laziest of the lazies. 

The signed book that I won in Susan Branch's giveaway on her blog arrived in the mail last week and I was thrilled to get it and since I was sick and couldn't do much else...I read it in one day.  It was wonderful!  Handwritten and illustrated with Susan's beautiful watercolors and personal photos, the book is the first of a two part series.  

I especially loved this book because it called to mind so many things I had almost forgotten.  Little Latin Lupe Lu, anyone?  Susan was born just a year after I was, so we both grew up in the 50's and 60's.  I loved her story of meeting the Beatles.  Let me just say, she was a brave girl!  You can find out more about The Fairy Tale Girl here.

This is the view into the dining area from my recliner.  See the wall on the left?  It's still awaiting being transformed into a gallery wall.  I have the stuff, just haven't had the motivation to git 'er done.  See the stack of books on the chair sitting in the dark?  That is only one of several stacks of to-be-read books.  Oh, I may have read one or two, but that's about it.  And there is Stormy waiting for me.  That's her way of telling me that it is time to go to bed.  Pretend there isn't a box in the corner, that is a favorite thing for cats.  Those that have cats know what I'm talking about.  When a box is brought into the house the cats love to curl up in it and when they start chewing it up out it goes.  The box, not the cat!  Although I have to say that some days they sure can push my buttons and I threaten to open the door and look the other way!  I'll be glad when daughter moves and takes her 2 kitties with her.  And speaking of moving....

It's way past time to share another before and after.  The first photo (click on photo to make larger) was the deck as it looked when we bought The Project.  We weren't happy with leaving the deck the way it was.  It just didn't seem safe enough and there were sagging issues, the stairs needing shoring up and so we hired a carpenter for this job.  He also put a new roof on top of this section of the house. 

The middle photo is during the overhaul and, lastly, the finished deck.  Sorry that last photo is a bit dark.  There is still some painting to be done around the deck, top and below, and the concrete needs a good power washing, but we now have a sturdy, safe deck. 

BG took off a couple of days and worked on some wiring and did some painting.  We are not far from being able to do a clean up and paint so daughter can get moved in.  The spare room still needs some work.  Her BF is going to help with that.  BG still has plenty of wiring to do, but he said that he can do that a little at a time and she might as well go ahead and move in.  The basement still needs work, but it's not going to affect the upstairs.  So, we're beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  At least as far as a move-in date.  If she waited until everything was perfect, she might not ever get to live there.  Is a house ever finished?  

Mine is still a work in progress, too.  I want to repaint my  bathroom.  It's a shade of tan that my children picked out.  Not my color at all.  I'm changing it!  I think I want a light shade of aqua.  Tell me, what is your favorite color for a bathroom?  I welcome some ideas.  I've looked at online photos, but I would love to know what you like, if you care to share.  The downstairs bath is a blue that will be changed to a lighter shade, perhaps even white.  You need all the light you can get in a basement. 

That's all for this post.  Take care, everyone.  I'm hoping to get out of the house this week and capture some of the beauty of this fall.  I'll see you soon!
PS   I hope my Canadian friends had a nice Thanksgiving Day! 

xo Cheryl 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Checking In

I finally went to the doctor for help today.  No, a medical doctor...not a shrink.  Today is day 10 of the virus from hell.  Come to think of it, maybe I could use a shrink to tell me why I always wait so long before going to a doctor.

I've tried various things to try to knock out this crud, but it is tougher than any home remedies one might try.

Laughter is the best medicine they say, so I've tried to laugh but I keep getting choked on the mucous sliding down the back of my throat.  So trying to laugh is out.  Grumbling is in.  I can do that very well even if my voice does sound funny!

I started out by drinking pineapple juice the first few days. I've read that PJ will knock out all the ills that may befall you.  Well, not exactly.  But it is supposed to ward off bad germs.  Nope!  Couldn't prove it by me.  However, it did taste pretty good and I would close my eyes and pretend that I was sitting on a beach in Hawaii and was sipping my PJ out of an actual pineapple.  Until my nose started running like Niagara Falls and I had to grab the Kleenex which ended that nice day dream.  Dare I mention that I was also pretending that I was 30 again and wearing some snazzy swimwear and Don Ho was still around and serenading me?  And what would BG say to that?  Oh, he was too busy gawking at the hula dancers swaying their hips in those grass skirts.  Hmmm, maybe my fever has risen again. 

I'm sitting here in my jammies with a sweatshirt for warmth.  I vascillate between being hot and chilling.  When I'm chilling I just turn on the laptop and put it on my legs for warmth.  I then usually fall asleep for awhile.  Until the laptop slides off my lap onto the floor with a thud.  I can actually hear the thud even though I can hear very little else.  My ears are so stopped up and I have an infection in my right ear, the doctor tells me.

Stormy has been by my side throughout this whole ordeal.  She sleeps by me, when I'm in the recliner she's on the floor beside my chair and sometimes in my arms.  When I go to the bathroom, I'll open the door to find her by the door waiting for me.  If only I could train her to fetch cold drinks for me to sip on!   

Did the scales at the clinic show a weight loss?  Hahahaha!!  I guess when you sip Pepsi or iced tea (sweetened, of course) all day but not eat a lot, you still consume more calories than you think.  And the only exercise I get is hurrying to the bathroom.  You know what happens when you are my age and you cough a lot?  You younger gals will find out soon enough.  I won't spoil your fun now.

What else is happening?  Well, I did read an interesting tidbit in the news today.   Seems the oldest woman in the world, age 116, eats bacon every single day.  She has a sign in her kitchen that says "Bacon makes everything better."  Woman after my own heart!  You can read about her here.

I will be back as soon as the meds kick in and kick this virus to the curb!

Take care and stay well!

xo Cheryl