life as the plumber’s wife

A mid-day text message conversation between a plumber and his adoring wife:

So the faucet in the kitchen sink has been leaky the past couple of days and it is getting worse. Zelda likes it.

But it has literally filled up a cup within the last half hour just dripping.

Do you know a good plumber?


Try Angie’s List.


I’ll correct the aforementioned defect when I get home.

Are you a good plumber?

Well, I’m cheap.

That’s what she said!






where I just said oh feck it and pounded some nails into the walls

We moved into our current Big Top in June 2011 and until today none of my photographs or art hung on the walls…none. Sure there was the very much needed calendar and clock on the wall…and in Jodie’s room are boy bands all over the walls surrounded by dance and school spirit posters…but nothing else was hung. And until we hung that ruler I made for Daniel in the sitting room, I really had no desire to do anything about it. All my treasured photographs and art remained boxed up and stored in the little cupboard under the stairs; which is supposed to be for my grandgirls to hide their toys to play in…after I paint over the hideous, half-assed fuschia chalkboard paint job. I have no clue about that. But yeah, we have had naked rental white walls and after losing the Big Top we built and made into a home, I just could not bring myself to hang my pictures.

I had a lot of good reasons:

  • The interior of this house needs to be painted…properly. I like my landlord a lot. He’s agreeable. He took a chance on us in spite of our sad financial state of affairs when we lost our home. He let us keep our dogs even though he had originally said no to pets. He looks the other way when my grandbabies’ cat, Bagheera comes over to visit. He let me paint the bannister. Yes, he is a pretty decent landlord…who did a craptastic job of patching and repainting the walls in this house. So I told myself that as soon as I had the money…and the time…and the energy I would paint these walls. Of course that would mean climbing a giant ladder for the 20 foot high ceilings in the sitting room and dining room. I look over at my darling husband and he shakes his head no..
  • I had babies and toddlers underfoot a lot. I don’t watch the girls full time anymore but they are still here a lot…almost everyday.
  • the greenhouse that is this house would ruin my treasures for sure.
  • and all kinds of other lame good excuses.

Truth be told I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Michelle pretty much hit the nail on the head (yes, pun intended) when she shared with me that she hasn’t been able to do the same thing in her current home because it would be as if she has set roots in that house…something after a few years she doesn’t want to do…like me, for a lot of reasons.We’re planning on a shared shrink session to delve into these issues of ours.

Losing the original Big Top was hard on me. There was so many different kinds of feelings that held me down in such a way that I could not move to make this house, this rental, into a home. A home for me, for my darling husband, for my children. Of course I was so wrapped and bound up in my depression and grief that I couldn’t see the effect that it has had on my family…

until Abby came downstairs as I hung up the first picture, a lovely print of a field of poppies, and said, “You’re hanging up the pictures! Now it will feel like we’re home!

You know what? She was right.

It was feeling less hollow.

A little more warm and not in that it is as hot as a freaking greenhouse way.

I still want to paint because this is just stupid. Later.

I will say that this pinterest idea really worked out well.

Oh but there is so much more left.

But it’s a start.



living in a greenhouse

That is what we have been living in for a little less than two years. With the front of the house facing east and the back facing west and five large sky windows offering southern exposure, the Big Top was basically a greenhouse. It has always been, depending on the season, 10-30 degrees warmer inside. Perhaps a good thing in the winter but it has been absolutely, positively unbearable in the spring, the summer and the fall. Think about it. When it is say 110° outside, which it is often anytime June through September (and October last year!) it is overwhelming inside…if we didn’t have air conditioning…which we do but the ac pretty much would have to be on from 9 AM through 9 and even 10 PM just to maintain the indoor temperature in the 80s.

Yes, our PG & E bill during the late spring, summer and fall is insane.

Yes, many people are desperate for the light and the bright, especially during the winter months. But these people have not spent any length of time here under the Big Top greenhouse.

Truth be told, I hated it. I have hated it even more than the rental white walls that are poorly painted and the mis-matched painted baseboards and doors throughout the house. It is just too damn bright. Rarely does anyone ever curl up in one of our cozy leather chairs to read or just relax in our sitting room. It is just too bright and too hot. I could not and still have not hung any of my precious photos (there are a lot of photos) or any of the art that we have (mostly thanks to our talented niece). Are you kidding me? The constant sunshine streaming in through all those freaking windows from sunrise until sunset would destroy our precious, valuable-to-us treasures. So all those treasures, photos and objects d’art have remained packed away in the little cupboard under the stairs…the long-promised playhouse for Hazel, and now, Fallon.

A couple weeks ago I got to the point that I just could not go through another spring, summer or fall living in this greenhouse. Something had to be done, I told Bill and our landlord. So Bill and our landlord together decided that yes, I was right. Of course I was right. It was decided the least expensive, easiest and best option for us and our landlord was an energy saving tinted window film.

Bill and Ben together worked on this last weekend. I told them this was the best birthday gift! The difference is so dramatic.

And so very much appreciated these last couple of March days, before the official start of spring, with bright, sunshine-y highs in the 80s. The Big Top has remained a comfortable 70°!


Buh-bye greenhouse effect!

As for me, I have spent the last two afternoons curled up in one of my cozy, comfortable sitting room chairs reading…at four-freakin-o’clock in the afternoon!




renovation in progress

The kids have had this last week off from school which has kept me busy and away from this blog. A good thing because I was determined to spend time with them, have a little fun and (if I was lucky) get some things done.



And almost done…or at least started, underway and soon to be completed.

Jodie had proposed a change for her bedroom, something to reflect more of herself which included painting…I’m all for painting!

She selected colors, bedding, a ballet barre…yes, a ballet barre and mirrors…and after I promised her that it would NOT take as long as my staircase project, we decided that this week was the time to get this thing started so that she could lend a hand.

I was under strict instructions not to remove this from her bedroom door which kind of sucks for two reasons. One, the door needs to be painted and I have plans for that door and the rest of the doors under the Big Top. Two, you try painting with all those eyes gazing upon your hot, sweaty self with flecks of paint all over you.


I swear I could hear them talking, no, singing to me…

You’re insecure,
Don’t know what for, You’re turning heads when you walk through the do-o-or,
Don’t need make-up,
To cover up, Being the way that you are is eno-o-ough,

Everyone else in the room can see it, Everyone else but you
Baby you light up my world like nobody else,
The way you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed,
But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell,
You don’t know oh-oh!
You don’t know you’re beautiful!…



But it is happening and progressing.

A lot has been done. I’m thinking that Jodie believes me when I promise that this will not take eighteen months. I still need to paint the window sill, door frames and baseboards…because who paints these with flat paint??? But until then the curtains are back up…

and some of the dancer’s treasures have been returned where they wait, with the dancer,  for the dust to settle and the renovations to be complete.

Stay tuned…

This week’s Focus 52 prompt was UP CLOSE, A STUDY IN MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY.

and a heavenly host of home improvement angels sing glory, hallelujah!

Remember my grand re-painting the staircase railing project? The one that I started thirteen months ago?

The one that I was STILL working on nine months ago?

It’s done!!!

It’s finally done!

Of course it makes the fact that the walls and baseboards and doors here under the Big Top desperately need to be painted. Desperately so.

Now on to the next project. Not sure which one I will start…re-finishing a beautiful table I acquired for the dining room (Thanks Casie!), or perhaps Jodie’s room complete with a ballet barre (if she ever cleans her room!) or the kids’ bathroom, or the front door, or the rest of the doors in this house, or the walls…ALL the walls. Hopefully the next home improvement project I decide to take on will not take as long as it takes to gestate an elephant.