Decision Overload

Thank goodness I already went through this back when the studio was built. Otherwise I would be wondering what was wrong with me. TOO MANY DECISIONS!! That’s what’s wrong with me. Having the car accident on top of this construction, and then adding in a minor family issue has put me on decision overload. I’m tired all the time, although it seems like I don’t do that much. I have trouble getting into the studio to create, and I haven’t gone to the gym or done any exercise for a while. I can’t remember the name of the book, but Cammy reviewed it, and I read the sample. It was about how a human can only make so many decisions before they are overloaded. So I guess going to the gym and making quilts are the decisions that are losing out right now. All the others, one by one, I seem to be able to make. Since I arrived home two weeks ago, here’s what’s happened:

One day I heard a very loud noise right outside the studio window. The cement truck had arrived! Can you believe a cement truck was able to angle itself between the house and the tree without knocking anything over?

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It was interesting watching J. the contractor and his helper direct that cement into the forms for the foundation.

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Over the next couple of days, a floor was put in place and walls went up! That corner structure is the little pantry. There was a bit of discussion about how small the door needed to be. If I didn’t mind it not being quite a 45 degree angle, the door could be 2 inches wider. Yes please!

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And then one day a roofline appeared

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I came home one day to see siding and a window!

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Oh, and this was one of my favorite things–a nice little sidewalk! There will be a very small deck there out the back door of the kitchen (where the ladders are,) and eventually we will turn that little structure (that I used to call the laundry dungeon) into a dog washing/wet studio (where I can dye fabric inside if I want to.)

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And in between all of that, I was on the phone with various and sundry people. Looking at cars online, and making more decisions. The insurance company “totaled” my car, so I had to decide whether to buy it back or take their offer. Both my brother and my mechanic said “take the money and run.” So I got this car from the “bargain department” at my local used car lot.

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Oh! And in between all of that? I snuck out of town for a couple of days to visit my mom, and to visit my friend, famous blogger Shelley! We have been able to meet so often because of our mutual Texas/California connections that we are more like IRL friends than blogging friends!

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Of course, you know our visit had to include yarn store and quilt store shopping!

Other decisions I’ve been able to make: bathtub chosen, tile for bathtub and shower surround chosen, bathroom faucets purchased, kitchen faucet chosen, backsplash material bookmarked, cabinet maker chosen and cabinet plan in place, deposit put down on new appliances, kitchen floor material being seriously considered (vinyl tiles,) and paint colors kinda sorta decided on…

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print here in the forest. Hope you are enjoying your weekend. I am thoroughly enjoying two whole days without any hammering or sawing or other loud unidentifiable noises! I even DECIDED to go to the gym for a nice long swim, and sat down long enough in the studio to make a simple baby quilt!

 

Sisters, Oregon

I can’t remember anymore what I told you all about this trip to Sisters, Oregon. I planned it last fall, well before I found J. the contractor, and started the work on my studio. So part of my planning was to spend an extended time in Sisters to see whether or not I would actually like to live there. I love the town, and it is very artist-friendly. Plus, it would be a lot closer to my BF. I found a rental (I really recommend checking out Homeaway or VRBO any time you are planning a trip,) and booked two weeks. At the same time I found a 5 day workshop with a wonderful quilt artist and made a reservation for that class. I would have a couple of days to relax in Sisters before the workshop started, and then five days in the workshop. On the last day, my friend would join me for a few days, and then I would have a day or two alone to finish up my trip.

And that’s just about how the trip went. Except in the meantime, I had almost every inch of my house worked on, remodeled, or added on to. Which involved making the decision to stay where I was and be happy here. I decided to keep the two week trip to Sisters, as it would get me out of the house for some of the beginning kitchen renovation work.

Sisters is a beautiful little town. They have the biggest coffee shop I’ve ever seen, and it is always busy all day every day. It was one of the first places I visited as I arrived! They have lots of indoor seating, but its really nice to sit outside and enjoy the flowers and fountains.

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IMG_0538These huge hanging baskets are everywhere in the town!

IMG_0553I will write about my quilting workshop over on my quilt blog, so will not repeat that here, except to say that it was a wonderful workshop, I learned a lot, and really enjoyed it.

On the last day of the workshop, my BF arrived, and we set up shop on the dining room table of the house!

IMG_0599The very first time I visited Sisters, I heard Lindy Gravelle singing outside the coffee shop. Robin and I are HUGE Lindy fans, and I found out that she was performing at the golf course restaurant right in Sisters! We told her we were groupies : )

IMG_0606A storm rolled through before she even started singing, so they moved all the tables inside. It was a beautiful view.

IMG_0610Lindy does a wide range of music–classic Patsy Cline/honky tonk. She writes a lot of her own music. And she plays the heck out of that keyboard! She is really a great entertainer.

IMG_0615We both looked like this for a good part of the evening :)

IMG_0628One of the best parts of the trip was RIDING A BIKE! I LOVED riding that bike all over the place. It was so fun to ride where it is flat everywhere (Sisters is considered high desert.) Sisters is also a bike-friendly town, with bike trails and lanes everywhere. One morning I was riding through town and I spotted this potting bench. I really liked it, but not enough to haul it home.

IMG_0629Before she left, Robin and I took one more trip to the Stitching Post Quilt shop to be photographed in our natural environment.

IMG_0632Sisters is also a deer friendly town. The deer are everywhere, and don’t mind how close you come to them. This guy was in my front yard right outside the window.

IMG_0655On one of my evening bike rides, this guy was right in front of me on the road. I don’t know if Sisters is coyote friendly, but he sure wasn’t afraid of me. He trotted along to this spot where he was eyeing a CAT! The silly cat looked like he was challenging the coyote. I made a move so the coyote would run away, because I did not want to watch that go down.

IMG_0642Here is a view of the Sisters mountains. There were about five deer in that field, but they kept moving.

IMG_0667Another view of the Sisters. There was a forest fire somewhere in the distance, so it created a smoke screen.

IMG_0644And looking in the opposite direction, this big peak is called Black Butte.

IMG_0651Good bye, Sisters. I’m quite sure I will be back again one day.

IMG_0672Part of me thinks its kind of silly that a retired person would need to take a vacation. Aren’t I already on vacation every day? But I have to say that this was really very nice and sooooo relaxing. I kept reminding myself that I was on vacation. I didn’t need to worry about getting home to the dogs. I didn’t walk much at all, but I rode my bike every day, and sometimes twice a day, and I brought my PT weights and equipment, and did those exercises fairly regularly. I ate too much, but I alternated that with eating extra light once in a while. And I relaxed. A lot.

And now we return to real life. Sign by my front door:

Schedule for the day:

Let the dogs in.

Let the dogs out.

Let the dogs in.

Let the dogs out…

Re-Entry

Got up bright and early for the final leg of the journey home. I was about 5 hours from home, and I was focused on GETTING HOME.

Of course, I had to make my normal stop for fresh fruits and veggies. I weighed all my options, and decided to stop at a huge farm stand on a busy highway about 40 miles from home.

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Apparently, I made the wrong decision.

The good news is that neither I nor the people in the other car were hurt at all. It could have been a devastating accident, as the speed limit along there is 60 MPH (hello county, perhaps people should have to slow down when they are going by this huge, major tourist attraction?) and there were tons of cars on the road and in the parking area.

We were able to pull that dangling bit of bumper off, and I went and tearfully asked for a piece of rope at the farm stand, tied the rest of the bumper securely, and drove on home.

Ahhh, home. Oh my oh my. I knew what I was coming home to, but still. Its the practical logistics of it. No running water inside the house (except that toilet there. Which, believe me, I am very grateful for.)

This is the view from my living room, looking into the dining room (most of my beautiful coral red walls are gone) and beyond that, what will be the bathroom and the laundry room.

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A closer view. See that triangle above the window? Yeah, that’s open to  the great outdoors. J. the contractor said he hadn’t seen any bats flying in yet. Very funny.

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Just a view of the wall that will mostly be taken down. The door there has never been used since I’ve lived here. There was always a refrigerator in front of it! The entrance to the kitchen will be approximately where the window with the air conditioner is.

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Just a view of the studio wall–I lost my back door there, as that will be a shared wall with the kitchen. That was actually my idea, as it will give me more working room in the studio. We will be able to use that same door for the back door of the kitchen!

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J. the contractor’s outdoor work area. Yes, that is my stove sitting out there.

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Where the kitchen will go. J. took the old siding off this wall, revealing this even older siding!. I think this was the original little cabin, and then they added the living room onto it.

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Another view of the foundation. This is where my nice deck was…also gone. J. the contractor did a TON of other stuff that doesn’t show, like shoring up a weak spot in the dining room foundation, plumbing, electrical, and stuff I don’t know or don’t understand.

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The permits finally came through this past Thursday, so the first inspection is scheduled for Tuesday. And then cement…

Its only been two days, but already I am learning how to best live this way. Like, don’t buy fruits and veggies that require a ton of chopping (hello apples and corn on the cob, my new best friends : ) ) Oh, and I picked up a 99 cent bottle of hand sanitizer at the store–Yeah! much better than the wipes I had on my list. Oh, and do I hear you asking, “but where are you going to shower, Debby?”

Hah! Here is my fine construction work to make a semi-private showering place. I’ve always had hot and cold water connections out there–very handy for washing the doggies. Actually, I think this was originally built as an outdoor shower before I moved in here. Those fiberglass pieces are originally from the covered deck, and then I re-purposed them as the rabbitry roof. MLG just recently took down that old rabbitry, and guess what? These pieces came in very handy for my outdoor shower. I was so tired after fixing this the day I came home, that I didn’t even clean the outside of them off. I was quite proud of how I rigged up my old shower curtain!

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I’ll be back later in the week to tell about some of the fun stuff that happened on vacation.

A Blog From The Road!

Hey hey hey!! I just discovered that WordPress will now let me access them from my Kindle Fire. This trip has been a long time without “talking” to you all. And I have so much to share, so many thoughts, that I was thinking I’d have to write several posts when I finally get home. This will be fun to be able to blog from the road. Now, if I can only figure out how to get my pics from my camera to my kindle… Those of you on Facebook might have noticed that the only photos I posted were “shared” from my BF’s page.

Its been such a great trip, full of fun and friends and learning. And creating. And food, and even exercise. I’ve been a bad blogger and haven’t even taken my camera out of the car. I have taken a few shots with my phone, and last night I went out on the bike to try to get some pics of the beautiful scenery around here.

“Regular” people always ask “What did you do/where did you go?” Its hard to explain how much fun my BF and I can have sitting in a house working on our separate creative endeavors, sometimes in companionable silence, and sometimes chatting nonstop, and always laughing. I’ve gotten a ton of interesting “compositions” (small art quilt pieces) started. I’ve decided its the nature of travel and/or not being in my home environment that makes it difficult to complete any of them. I have a lot of work to do when I get home!

Oh! And speaking of home, J. the contractor has been working extra hard to try to get a lot done while I was gone. I hear that I no longer have a kitchen or a bathroom. To quote myself, Eek! : ) Still, I will be very happy to be home in a few days to see the Queen, Miss Bess, the Big Guy, and to have a little more lap time with Mr. Monk.

 

Some Fun

Sunflowers!

These are the short sunflowers:

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All the posts are to help the “bush” beans in front of the sunflowers.

And a close-up:

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They are so fluffy and pretty! And I grew them from seeds!

And the mammoth sunflowers. Really, does it count as a flower when it is so high you can barely see it? I think these must be over 9 feet tall!

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I grew these from seed too! Do you know they only give you about 6 seeds in a packet? What’s up with that? So, of the seeds I planted, only 3 1/2 of them grew.

Close-up:

DSCN1886Kinda cool how the volunteer morning glory vine climbed up the sunflower stalk!

Look up, and have a lovely sunny week!

My New Kitchen

Oh my oh my. It starts again. J. the contractor was here today, and I signed the “official” contract. Demolition starts Thursday about 1/2 hour after I make my exit! I am weary of moving and cleaning and cleaning and moving. But the end is in sight. Just a few more things in the bathroom and kitchen to pack up and move.

This is my “new kitchen” for the next couple of months! Everything I need is in this one little cupboard. Now why was it that I thought I needed a bigger kitchen? As much as I did not want to do it, my new bedroom closet came in handy as a “pantry.” Because I had to have a place to keep those food items safely away from “inquiring minds.”

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See that space on the bottom shelf? That’s for all the paper plates and bowls and plastic silverware that I am going to get at Costco. I am not planning to do a lot of outdoor dishwashing. I also have spent a lot of time this week baking my breakfast items and some proteins to put in the freezer. No oven for a while!

And just for laughs, here is my old kitchen on a day I had just cleaned it up. Usually every bit of counter space was covered with stuff, and I ALWAYS used my pull out cutting board as my work surface. I am keeping that cutting board–fond memories.

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I am on my way to Sisters, Oregon for a quilting workshop with a great art quilter, and some time with my BF. I planned this trip a whole year ago, before we ever started any of the construction on my house. At that time, I thought I might like to move to Sisters, and so this vacation was going to be some extended time in Sisters to see if I really liked it. Now that I have changed everything about my little house, I don’t plan to leave it. The Sisters trip is just a way to get out of J.’s way and to avoid a little of the messiness.

So I will see you all in a couple of weeks. It will be fun to watch this process, and share it with you. I’m trying to just take it one decision at a time, and not stress too much about it. I am thankful that J. the contractor is so reliable and competent and CALM. And Noah likes him better than anybody else in the whole world!

 

Exciting News!

I was actually cleaning up my demo samples here.

I was actually cleaning up my demo samples here.

I just received word that my episode of The Quilt Show will air on December 8! I am so excited that it is airing so soon (rather than waiting until sometime next year.) Plus, is there a better way to celebrate turning 60? SIXTY? When did that happen? Anyway, if any of you are members of TQS, you will be able to see it that day. For everyone else, I will be given a secret password to pass onto you, and you will be able to see it a week later, starting December 15.

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