May 22, 2018

Hosta help

Greetings.  I know many of you are gardeners with vast knowledge.  I don't have a green thumb, it's brown from chocolate.  Today I noticed that one of the Blue Angels is damaged and thought I might trouble you for your thoughts. 
 
The furled new growth has been chewed half way down, the leaf directly behind, and half of the leaf in front.  I thought it may be the deer, but this is only one area that is further back from the more accessible leaves.  No prints in the soggy ground either.  I did not see a caterpillar or large insect, but I didn't want to delve deeper into the plant and find a spider.   What should I look for?  This is in the middle of the row, no other damage.
 
Any thoughts?
 
We're having two good weather days at the end of the week so I called the painter and .... oh no.  He hired new people.  Another business that can't depend on employees and does not tolerate drug use.  So I am pretty damn nervous about inexperienced individuals wielding a power washer on my already brittle siding.  I will have a talk with him before they start with the understanding that any damage will need to be replaced by him.  It was understood previously that high pressure will not be used, but any pressure may be risky.  Then again, I may find them to be top notch and better than expected.  Yep, it's a crap shoot.  The trim will be stained with the house, this is just bare cedar right now.
 
Another disappointment today when we went to choose the new garage door.  If I had not mentioned that the paint will be a charcoal brown, we would have been in trouble.  The door I wanted is a barn style with cross pieces.  We have vertical grooves on the garage siding so I want something simple, not raised panels.  Well guess what?  They assume you will use a light paint or choose one of their colors, and don't mention that using a dark paint will void the warranty on any door that has added detail.  The overlay pieces (whether steel, composite or fiberglass) will warp and detach if dark and in full sun.  Good thing I asked.   Now I am limited to purchasing a base and adding material to create a door, or a completely flush plain steel door.  This should be clearly stated in any brochure, catalog, and online.  Granted, most people go with the standard light colors offered, but some of us may paint our preference.   I do not want the wood grain stained look which is a lot of maintenance with full sun exposure.
 
Worcestershire pork chops are almost ready, and I've yakked enough.  Aren't you tired of this crap I keep spilling out?  Sorry.  It will end soon.
 
Thanks for putting up with my mania and any hosta help you can offer.
 
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May 21, 2018

Waiting

for the siding to be replaced, I sure hope he finishes this week.
There are only three dozen boards being replaced, maybe a few more.  We got an estimate to replace one side of the house which has the garage attached so it's not even fully sided, and the cedar alone would be over $8500.  Ain't happening.  So we'll just enjoy the warm weather, wait for our guy, and hope for the best.  By the way, he has a six foot level.  My hero.

Two additional issues with the door.  One door, many headaches.  They ordered a bright silver sill which shines like a spotlight on the dark house.  When the sun hits it, the light beam is enough to guide alien spaceships.  With black hinges, bronze weatherstrips, bronze sweep, why the hell didn't they order the bronze or black sill?  Now I have to paint it.  The door also came in with 2 3/8" backsets.  Standard is 2 3/4" which is what our door locks are, so we had to purchase a new set for over $100 that matches our others.  They are older Emtek and not adjustable, wrought iron knob and bolt.  Damn.  We have rags in the predrilled holes and a board secured across the interior.

Sometimes we have to put our heads together to come up with solutions.  Sometimes we use the other end.

Either way, I still am baffled by raw bacon being better for you than smoked.  I know nitrates in processed foods are not good for you, but if a rodent had a choice of nitrate or non-nitrate poison, would one be better for him than the other?   Like a stick of dynamite wrapped in red paper is better for you than the blue paper.  Why be concerned about nitrates being bad for you, but not the raw bacon itself, the diet, and the smoking?  Certainly a risk for a pace-maker, triple bypass coronary patient.  But I guess many of us are guilty of choosing our poisons by preference. 

I do choose the leanest slab for my order at the market and indulge in crumbled bits on my salads.  I do eat too many sweets.  I did smoke like a chimney years ago.  Too many of us wait until our health has a crisis or diagnosis to change bad habits.  But once they develop, we have to be reasonable about diet modifications.  I know several people that felt they had their "pipes cleaned out" so there wasn't a need to change.  Everything and anything in moderation will not harm you.  Or maybe some think they will die young anyway so what the hell.  I don't think anyone should tell others how to live or eat, even when we are upset about their choices.  Personal responsibility is just that .... personal.  But personally, I would love to smack a few knuckleheads. 
 
It just seems that as accountability for your actions has left our country, so has responsibility.   From looking at FB and other media, the rage and lack of compassion for others has become an epidemic, the brutality of fighting, the name calling and screaming, the hatred for those that don't agree with them.  Yet they call others haters.  When you hold yourself accountable for your actions you also respect yourself.   How people were raised and what they have endured, desperation they have felt, lack of love and belonging, all contributes to their self respect.  How difficult it must be, or maybe even impossible, to change the emotional development of the brain that was formed so long ago.  I enjoy seeing young people at work and doing an excellent job, or having fun while being responsible, or eager to learn and pursue their goals.  But in my area, I am seeing more of the opposite, with attitude.  And I am torn between blaming them, or blaming their home life.
 
A recent article claims that allowing babies to "cry it out" produces more adrenaline, affecting areas of the brain, which results in short tempered and sometimes violent individuals.  The child's brain is still developing and forming and absorbing significantly until 3, and continues on for years after.  When I see these young babies and children being treated so horribly, I wonder what personality traits are forming that will affect them for life.  And it seems to be getting worse with each generation's lack of understanding of the responsibility of raising children, the rampant drug use, and the casual attitude toward their welfare. 
 
Holy crap.  What the hell was that?  One thing leads to another.  That was a good song.  Is there one titled Time to Shut Up?
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May 19, 2018

Excuse me ..... what?

The couple came today to take our old windows.  She is in her early 50's and talked about how all her prior boyfriends had six kids, her daughter has six, her step daughter has six.  She is on disability and can barely catch her breath, has a wheelchair, a scooter, and a power chair.  She is on pain meds for a previously broken back, had hips replaced, recent by-pass surgery, stents, and type 2 diabetes.
 
Their truck reeked of smoke and two different cigarette packs were on the dash along with a bag of candy.  She weighs around 300, and won't buy her bacon at my local meat market.  She only eats fresh slab bacon because the nitrates in smoked bacon are bad for you. 
.............................................
what?

May 17, 2018

A little door info

Greetings!  Are any of you thinking about changing an exterior door?  Here's something I found out the hard way.  Do not accept the "standard" size of 32"x80" or 36"x80" if you are replacing an existing door.  Always ask for the rough opening.  Standard doors' rough openings will be 2" larger than the door (a 32" wide will have a RO of 34").  If the RO is not 2" larger or has a 1/2" increment, adjustments will need to be made to the framing, slight, but a pain in the ass.  Not the case with most doors, but of course, with the one I chose.  I wasn't told this and the fiberglass door with composite jams (no more finger jointed peeling!) needed to have a 2x4 removed from the framed opening and smaller lumber installed, which changes the exterior trim also.  This means the edge of the siding doesn't line up either.  Goody.
 
SOOOOOOO glad we have this professional and know these bumps will be solved correctly.
 
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May 15, 2018

The red cape

Yep, the red cape I've been showing is for sale in MA.  You can click here to view it and the interior.  I enjoy browsing homes for sale online and taking a peek inside from the quaint to the elaborate.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3-Madeline-Way-Southampton-MA-01073/90176238_zpid/



 
We just came from getting my flowers, had to go with the Vista bubble gum again, couldn't find the fuchsia.  The Vista series colors are bubble gum, fuchsia, and silverbells (left), all great performers.  Next year the newest color, paradise, will debut.  I did find a full basket of the silverbells color and brought it home too.  Geraniums for the front buckets with a few vines.  That's it.  No pots and tubs and others this year.  And this time, I'm sticking to that decision.
With all the hammering going on I played it safe and removed everything on the walls, and am loving the look.  I've always liked sparse with the focus on mouldings and paint color.  The windows have a light beige primer (old windows were gray) and along with the light and bare walls, there is a calming effect. When the curtains are back, maybe that will change the mood completely.  But I think the samplers will need to find a new place to hang out.  I may be selling a few when I get more organized.
 
I did check with Habitat for Humanity and the closest store is quite a drive from here.  That one doesn't take windows nor will they drive this far for pickup.  The stores offer very good used items but they don't take everything, the items are sold (stores are independently owned) and proceeds go toward housing projects.  Wonderful organization.  Another location in PA about an hour from here will accept windows but only in excellent condition.  The effort and calls and emails to find a local organization willing to take used items has become a hassle, and I plan to use CraigsList's free section from now on.   Sam (our contractor) gave me the idea because his worker listed the cement blocks they removed from the restaurant and kept them from a landfill while helping a farmer build a pen.
 
Hope the week is going well.
Thanks for visiting.
 
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Progress!!

Two windows installed and trimmed yesterday.  When will he return?  Don't know, depends on the weather and his other jobs.  He's trying to work between storms and inspections at the other work site.  The interior projects I had planned will not be done anytime soon.  Contractor Sam is remodeling a restaurant and then building a massive home for the owner.  His brother, the best finish carpenter locally, is also booked until fall.  Summer passes so quickly, I better line up everything now.  I have complete confidence in both of them, totally impressed, so it's nice to be able to plan without apprehension. 
 
 When I found out that the old windows will be dumped, I decided for the very first time to try Craig's List.  Offered them for free in exchange for pickup and I had three hits within an hour.  I did not register or create an account and was able to delete the offer after it was fulfilled.  I've heard from many people that Craig's is a great resource, but a friend's son was murdered during an electronic sale.  Needing extra money he listed his devices and gaming, and lost his life.  It was about the same time that my sister's friend had a daughter stabbed 30 times by a stoned young man (nothing to do with Craig's).  Neither mother has recovered from their senseless and devastating loss.  I know you are supposed to meet elsewhere for the transactions but they already have our address and windows aren't something we can carry around in a trunk.  Besides, they're free so no money is involved.  I'm happy someone will use them.  Really irritates me to see remodeling jobs with dumpsters filled with usable vanities, sinks, cupboards, doors.  There should be a place to take reusables where people can get items, maybe not perfect but better than they have.  Offices are notorious for waste, especially medical when an incoming doctor didn't like the décor.  But what can you expect?  My neighbors won't even recycle glass and plastic.  Everything to the dump.  OK I'll shut up.
 
Guess how many chocolate dipped strawberries and melt-a-ways are left?   I am so upset with myself for gaining the weight loss back and now I'll be over that number.   Stress eating and pigginess.  I need to get a project started and hope I can do that today.  If my hands are busy they may not reach for more chocolate.  Maybe a little Santa.  There's too much going on here to start the larger project I had planned.
 
Another view of that lovely red cape.
 
 
Have a great day everyone!
 
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