Thursday, February 14, 2019

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Rest in Piece(s)

Between bouts of -50 to -60 degree windchills, and a bit of freezing rain, it has been snowing here in Nod....
  Snowing a LOT. 
 We had 8" this past Tuesday, another 8+" Thursday, 7-10" today, and an even more "major" storm coming our way tomorrow night with significantly "more" accumulations.  (That's all the farther I looked folks....someone told me, though, there is another one coming later in the week as well...)


My social director  Papa Crow has been in Quebec for the better part of a week now, and although I got out for a bit yesterday, I have been mostly left to my own devices here in the Twilight Zone of Never Never Land (I mean really....I am excited if I see a snowplow go past as it is the ONLY traffic here in Nod these days...and that is a big "if" by the way.)

Except Thursday....in the midst of the storm, a UPS truck stopped in the middle (at least I THINK it was the middle...who knows? It wasn't plowed) of the road outside our house...and honked his horn....

...and HONKED his horn.

After realizing there was, in fact, life in Nod, it slowly dawned on me that this UPS driver was attempting to get my attention.  So, while he continues to HONK his horn, I bundle up.... After all, I wasn't going out there in my pajamas.
After donning my 6 layers of outerwear, I stepped out on the front porch...and froze.
(Not literally, mind you....that hadn't gotten to me quite yet....but figuratively....)
Because you see, with Papa Crow gone, no one had shoveled the walk or plowed the driveway.
The driveway that is made of stamped concrete and that gets incredibly slippery even WITHOUT 2" of ice and 8" of snow.
And because,  just over a year ago, I took a tumble down our staircase and broke my tibia and tore my ACL and VMO (another post, another time), leading to a very unstable knee. 
And because,  my back was deciding whether it wanted to be completely "out" or just partially out, yet still painfully bothersome (yet another post,  yet another time).  In any event, both knees began to quiver...and not from the subartic temperature.

But the UPS man continued to honk.

So, out to the road I ventured slipped and slid....

And the UPS man continued to honk.
(You can't see that I am TRYING to get there? You can't, like, maybe pretend to be a gentleman and meet me halfway????)

I did make it there (and back, thankfully) unscathed.  However, I was not of a sunny disposition when I got there....if you get my "drift" (yes, pun intended).

He said they were working under "EC" ("Emergency Conditions") and, therefore, did not want to chance our driveway. 
Really???

And you know what the real kicker is???
The package wasn't even FOR me.
GAH!!!


Like I said, rest in piece(s)......

(Ok...just kidding....this is NOT really the UPS guy's head.... It's a project I have been meaning to do since several Halloweens ago.... Yeah, you could say I'm a bit stir crazy about now.  ;-) )



Thursday, January 31, 2019

Hearts and Squirrels, Squirrels and Hearts

Well, I think h*!! has finally, really, and truly, frozen over.
How cold can it get in the Cold, Cold, Land of Nod???
REALLY cold....Cold enough that no one got mail, no garbage was picked up, and bars closed.
That's right....BARS CLOSED in WISCONSIN.  Now that is DANG cold.
Temps down to -30's and windchills reaching -60.  
YIKES!
Rumor has it, though, that we will be in the upper 30's soon....
A 90 degree temperature swing in a matter of days.  Gotta love Nod....or NOT.

Ok...enough ranting... Yes, I am going a bit stir crazy (I get nervous when they say exposed skin can be frostbit in a matter of 5 minutes in those temps)....
There are many things I SHOULD be doing, but it seems a herd of squirrels running through the house always manages to distract me.

After spending a few hours sorting through boxes from WWR (yes, there are still boxes) and not finding any treasures like Marly's, I started working on a new project for which I needed a little painted heart box.
So, I painted the box....and the squirrels came again.


I started playing with paper, and well, that led to Valentine-ish things.
I am kinda liking those little dimensional heart things made with old sheet music and journal papers.
I might have to make a few more.
Something tells me the "box" project might be delayed.


But, I did finally finish my heart and hand punchneedle piece.
I had the punching done long, long, time ago, but the hornbook challenged me at every step.
(If you know me and paint, you might understand....)


Hope all is well where you are, and if it's in the Polar Vortex, I hope you are staying warm and cozy.
If you need any squirrels, just let me know.

*******

(PS...I think I did something stupid and enabled Google+ comments?? But I can't disable them?? I hope it doesn't cause anyone problems with leaving a comment.  If so, please try emailing me and I will do some research....And if anyone knows the spell to undo what I did, please let me know!)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Some Farewells & Some Introductions: The Tale of Four Kitties (and a Snowdog)

I have been gone a good long while and, as I mentioned in my last post, I have some serious catching up to do....and I promised to fill in a few of the missing pieces.
So here we go....and, in this case, the emphasis is on the word "missing."

Yes, Snowdog is still here and doing fine (although a bit preoccupied with the unexpected snow we are getting today).

But this is mostly a cattail cat tale.  In one of my posts before I fell off the face of Blogland this last time, there was a sneak peek at a new addition to the teeny, tiny, house in the cold, cold, land of Nod; but I don't believe I ever got around to formally introducing her.
So, friends, please meet Liza....a/k/a Liza Bean...a/k/a LuciFur (and, trust me, she truly earned that last moniker):

 She came to us as a "rescue" (from my niece's farm where she was found drowning in a pail of water....).

(Hmmm....water seems to be a recurring theme for her.)


 But she did eventually grow into those ears of hers:

*************

Then, about a year and a half later, I had to say farewell to my beloved Lizzi....

She left this world too very young, and oh how my heart hurt.

*************

An unexpected birthday surprise from my husband a month later, however, brought a smile to my heart again....


How could anyone NOT smile? Those eyes, the purr....the unbelievably soft fur, his snuggles.  I don't know who else could have mended my broken heart like Purrcy....or broken it so swiftly and completely when he died two months later as unexpectedly as he had arrived in my world.


I know there are questions...but his story is yet too sad for me to tell.
He was just too good to be true...and now each birthday will be bittersweet for me.

*************

But if my heart was shattered by losing Purrcy, my pain was exacerbated by witnessing that of Liza's.  She did not eat for days...and I would catch her lurking in some of her and Purrcy's favorite "play" spots...waiting...and waiting for her playmate.  You see, those two had bonded beyond anything I ever thought imaginable.  And as surely as you and I have a heart, so does she...and clearly it was broken as completely as mine was.

So, with great reluctance, and quite of bit of trepidation, we welcomed another new kitten to the teeny, tiny, house in the cold, cold, land of Nod: Rajah Roo.

No kitteh could ever replace Purrcy, but Rajah really isn't just any kitteh, and has at least "distracted" us.
I cannot say that Liza Bean has bonded with him as tightly as she did with Purrcy, but Rajah is...well...his own purrson LOL.... 




So...there you have it, 2 years of fur baby history at the teeny, tiny, house in the cold, cold, land of Nod in a nutshell...Ok, a rather "large" and LONG nutshell, but a nutshell nonetheless.

And, yes, I actually started the next part of the WWR Chronicles...but somehow am having some photo issues in that regard.  So, stay tuned...or not! 

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Nine Lives of The Cranky Crow


Yes, the rumors are true....I am "back"...again....

It's hard for even me to believe that it has been almost 2 years since I last posted.
I have visited a few blogs somewhere in that time, but it seemed my own words were stuck down somewhere deep within.  Each of these times that I have "disappeared," it has not been with intent.  I do not quite know what happens, when it will happen, or exactly why it happens....but it does.  And then eventually it seems as though I find myself far "away" and there is always an overpowering homesickness that calls me back.


So, although I am not entirely certain of what "life" I am on...or how many I may have remaining, I am here now and that brings joy to my heart.


So much, and yet so little, has happened in the past two years.  I will try to fill in some of the puzzle pieces as I go from here.  But for those of you I left hanging 2 years ago, as you can see, I did, in fact, finally find the floss I needed and finished up this little pinkeep tuck.  (Pattern by Jenny Hoffman @ Country Rustic Primitives... Finished Marly-style.) 


And, in some chance encounters with a few of you during my absence, I was asked to continue the WWR ("When We Remodeled") Chronicles. So, at the risk of losing the few faithful followers I may have left, I promise I will.


I just need to remember where I left off....and take Christmas down first.  
See...some things never change.
 ;-)


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Marly Kind of Day....

Nod is a considerable distance from any real form of civilization; so, I do my best to conserve trips to town....
But, I was out of SnowDog food and basic food necessities.  In addition, they are calling for major snow by week's end, and, most importantly, I needed some floss to finish this stitch.


Specifically, I needed DMC 730.

So, I begrudgingly started the journey to town... I decided to go to Walmart, since I could get everything I needed in one place rather than multiple stops.  (I hate multiple stops...)  Or so I thought.


WHAT. The. HECK.

Since when does 738 follow 729?  And look as I might, I saw no little cubbie saying 730 anywhere in sight.  Shaking my head, I picked up skeins of two other colors that I need for a different project and headed to the checkout bewildered.

Then....then....you would not believe what transpired.

As I am placing my groceries on the checkout belt, the cashier asks me if I found everything I was looking for.  I said no, as I handed her the two skeins of floss I had found.... I said I couldn't find the colors I needed in the floss.  I then asked her if she knew of any other place in town that carried floss.  She looked at me and says "Gee, Midwest Dental is just across the way, but I don't know if they have the colored stuff or not....I've only ever seen white."

You can't make this stuff up I tell ya.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

An Apology for Ugly.....

When I started The WWR Chronicles, I said I would be interspersing them with "regular" blog posts...and I sorta tried to do that with my last post....but realized too late that the "S" (a/k/a "white") photos were not any more palatable to most of you (including me) than those horrendous pre-remodel photos.

So, this is a sort of an "apology," if you will, for all those awful photos of late...

The annual antique show in the town closest to Nod was this past weekend....and these are a few of the treasures that followed me home.... (I know some of you will find those photos a bit "prettier" than those in my previous 3 or 4 posts LOL....)


(A heart made from old bottlecaps)

(Cast iron shoes.  The gentleman from whom I purchased them speculated that they may have been from a Victorian-era wood mannequin.  And an old shoe oil can because?? Because I love everything shoes???)

(The best find of the show.  This sampler was made by Eliza Staples....when she was a wee 9 years old...)  (Ok Miss Marly - does this in ANY way atone for the photos of the awful s#*t???)

(Old German rabbits.  The one on the right is a candy container and will join my herd of others.... The one on the left is not a candy container, but should blend in with the herd....and I didn't have a white one.)

(Heart in hand....actually an old glove...with a snippet from an old diary that says "I Love But One"....)

(A girl can never have too many chocolate molds.  ;-) )

(Not sure what I will do with this yet....It's an old iron salvage piece of some sort, but the shape and form intrigue me....)

As my daddy always said, ugly is as ugly does; but do not confuse apologies with excuses, nor excuses with apologies. 

Have a great week ahead!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Conspiracy Theory

I know many of you welcome February with open arms and hearts....
And, yes, she does bring us a touch closer to spring....

But I believe that February is in conspiracy with January to drive me mad with whiteness.


And if they do not succeed at first, they entice March to join them as an accomplice.


Today we saw a peek at the sun...at least I think that's what it was....It's been so long since I've seen it that I've forgotten her face.


So fill me with hope of spring, and I may learn to forgive you January and February....and let you off easy as well March.



{For those of you following along with The WWR Chronicles, thank you so very much for your encouragement and kind comments....}

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The WWR Chronicles - Part III

{In 2014, we undertook a HUGE remodel project.  During (and since) that time, several followers asked me to post photos of the remodel project (yes, really).  I never have...for the following (among other) reasons:(1) the project isn't really and truly "complete;" (2) I didn't have the sense (or time) to take good "before" photos; (3) I doubted a lot of people would be interested; (4) I really didn't know where to begin; and (5) By now, it's old news and I thought that most of those followers who had asked had long since drifted away. Well, with regard to the last point, I may be mostly correct, but there is, in fact, one faithful follower who still asks...and so begins the WWR Chronicles.  These will be divided into separate posts, and clearly labeled as such, so if you have no interest in WWR, you can pass over quickly with my blessing.  I have no idea HOW many segments there will be at this point (heck, they, like the remodel project, may never end)....but I do intend to intersperse "regular" blog posts in between the chronicles so as not to completely drive you all away. Oh...and if you're wondering what WWR stands for:  WHEN WE REMODELED)  To first-time visitors and passers-by: this is really not my typical blog fodder LOL.....}  

For Part II of the The WWR Chronicles, click on the following link:  The WWR Chronicles ~ Part II
For Part I of The WWR Chronicles, click on the following link:  The WWR Chronicles ~ Part I

Part III
{WARNING: Contains explicit, ugly, photos....viewer discretion is advised.}

Now, where was I? Oh yes...the day Henry the Handyman extricated the world's smallest toilet from the little bathroom in the teeny, tiny, house in Nod and changed the Crows' world forever....

The deed was done...there was no turning back.  Henry the Handyman left the teeny, tiny, house in Nod to return to town to purchase the (normal-sized) toilet Mama Crow WOULD have purchased days prior had it fit under the now-removed ugly counter top, and Papa Crow had flown the nest...as he was prone to do at times like this.  (The latter point will be a recurring theme in The WWR Chronicles...take note for future reference....)  This left Snow Dog to ponder why the world's smallest toilet was now outside rather than in (a thing only dogs must ponder) and left Mama Crow alone with time to think....WAY too much time to think....

As Mama Crow looked at the wallpaper, now ripped, taped and stained by a liquid toilet bowl cleaner from years ago (life lesson: don't ever use liquid toilet bowl cleaner when you have wallpapered walls unless you have an amazing aim), it screamed "Tres 80's!!" at her....  The linoleum flooring that Papa Crow had stained attempting a tub drain fix nearly leaped up at her saying "Replace me!!" The wall-to-wall mirror with its bar row of naked bulbs suddenly looked garish and like it perhaps had a former life in a house of ill-repute.  And, of course, the nauseating revolting unattractive flesh-colored counter top whimpered in naked, exposed, pain where it had been severed from its extension.  No, simply plunking in a new toilet where the old had been would never never fly....

And so it began....The little bath remodel gone rogue.  You see, the second recurring theme in the remodel experience of the Crows is that one small change inevitably would start a domino effect... Papa Crow (when he reappeared) accepted that a new counter top would be in order given that, at some point, it too had been stained by the same rogue toilet bowl cleaner, and there was now an uneven cut edge to it. But, did it pay to simply replace the counter top when the handmade vanity beneath needed much TLC? Of course not! And, you do remember that NOTHING in the teeny, tiny, house in Nod was "standard,"...so, of course, a standard sized vanity would not FIT where the old vanity stood.... In addition, replacing the entire vanity would mean new fixtures....But, alas, Henry the Handyman had yet more bad news up his chambray shirt sleeve: The fixtures could no longer be purchased in the bright brass finish that the accountant had chosen for the bathroom in the teeny, tiny, house in Nod, so the sink fixtures would no long match the shower fixtures (and as you oughta know by now....the bathroom in the teeny, tiny, house in Nod was SMALL, so, of course, one would notice that they did not match)..... And, if the bath and shower fixtures were also changed out, the shower door would need to be changed as well because....you guessed it....it was framed in the bright brass of which the tasteless accountant was apparently so fond.  So, soon, the little bathroom in the teeny, tiny, house in Nod looked like this:

    
And look like that it did for some time unfortunately....because, as you will come to understand, in addition to the domino effect, nothing in the Crows' world goes smoothly (Recurring Theme No. 3).  In fact, the little bath's facelift took well over a year when all was said and done.  Henry the Handyman built the custom-sized vanity, but, regrettably, he waited to build it until the counter top was ordered and scheduled for delivery (a several month process)....only to find out that they would not deliver the counter top until the vanity was installed resulting in a delay of many months.....


 Then, the company in France from which Mama Crow ordered the vanity drawer pulls unexpectedly shut down for a 3-month hiatus....and when the pulls finally did arrive, they were not the pewter finish she had ordered but.....you guessed it, the tasteless accountant's bright brass finish that Mama Crow was told was no longer available! 

The tub fixtures could not be ordered in the same configuration as they had been in (another unique touch by the accountant) and so had to be jimmy-rigged (because Papa Crow insisted that the tile in the shower NOT be replaced since it had been redone only a few years prior after Little Crow put his hand through the old tile while showering....) (Did I mention that the accountant was not such a great builder??)


 The light fixture ordered to replace the brothel kinky original light came in the wrong finish and was returned twice before Mama Crow gave up and had it painted. 


 (The counter top that was ultimately delivered was not the color Mama Crow had received samples of and ordered either, but at this point, Mama Crow decided to be a bit more like her cousins, the ducks...and let it roll off her back.)

 Many of the design and color choices were dictated by pre-existing choices in the room (i.e., the shower tile color dictated the flooring color, which dictated the wall color; the stained wood ceiling, doors and trim, dictated the vanity finish, etc.) (Take note....Recurring Theme No. 4).  

    



But, in then end, Mama Crow was fairly pleased with it (more likely just relieved to have it FINISHED). 


And I bet you're thinking that's it....the end of The WWR Chronicles.... But oh, you would be so very, very, wrong....It truly was only the beginning....

{To Be Continued....}

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The WWR Chronicles ~ Part II

{In 2014, we undertook a HUGE remodel project.  During (and since) that time, several followers asked me to post photos of the remodel project (yes, really).  I never have...for the following (among other) reasons:(1) the project isn't really and truly "complete;" (2) I didn't have the sense (or time) to take good "before" photos; (3) I doubted a lot of people would be interested; (4) I really didn't know where to begin; and (5) By now, it's old news and I thought that most of those followers who had asked had long since drifted away. Well, with regard to the last point, I may be mostly correct, but there is, in fact, one faithful follower who still asks...and so begins the WWR Chronicles.  These will be divided into separate posts, and clearly labeled as such, so if you have no interest in WWR, you can pass over quickly with my blessing.  I have no idea HOW many segments there will be at this point (heck, they, like the remodel project, may never end)....but I do intend to intersperse "regular" blog posts in between the chronicles so as not to completely drive you all away. Oh...and if you're wondering what WWR stands for:  WHEN WE REMODELED)  To first-time visitors and passers-by: this is really not my typical blog fodder LOL.....}  

For Part I of The WWR Chronicles, click on the following link:  The WWR Chronicles ~ Part I

Part II
{WARNING: Contains explicit, ugly, photos....viewer discretion is advised.}

Yes....the day the toilet broke in the little house was an remarkable day...as it marked the beginning of changes that no one...and especially not the Crows....could have ever anticipated.

  You see, the little house had been originally built by an accountant....who, by all accounts, was a very fine accountant indeed...but, ummm, not so much a builder.  It's not that his workmanship was not commendable, but things were not necessarily built according to "code," and, by no means were things "standard."  Whenever the Crows needed to replace something (such as windows, doors, etc.), they learned that it was a "custom" size and had to be essentially built to order (which, to be fair, led in part to Papa's Crow reluctance to change anything in the little house).

And so it was with the toilet.  Somehow, the accountant had found the world's smallest toilet to put in the little house's little (and only) bathroom.  To add insult to injury, the accountant then installed a nauseating revolting unattractive flesh-colored countertop around the sink and over the top of world's smallest toilet, and above that, a wall to wall mirror with a bar of naked bulb lights.  After serving nobly for 30+ years, however, the day came when the world's smallest toilet flushed its last load, and gave up the ghost.  Refusing to believe that it could not be fixed, Papa Crow summoned three separate plumbers. Alas, each and every one confirmed the fact that whatever malady had afflicted the little toilet was irreversible, the damage irreparable and the toilet terminal. 


Mama Crow was promptly dispatched to find a replacement....but quickly surmised that the toilets for sale in the 3 stores she visited seemed somewhat "large" by comparison to the little toilet in the little house.  She came home and explained her dilemma to Papa Crow, who found this unbelievable, and who, the following day, armed with measurements, went himself to find a replacement.  However, he, too, came home toilet-less.  But Papa Crow was not one to give up easily...especially since the thought of being toiletless was less than pleasant...and the following day, he sent Mama Crow back out shopping...this time accompanied by Henry, the handyman from Nod.  Alas....the two of them fared no better than the previous days. 

In the following days, Henry the Handyman also scoured resources online looking for a toilet that would fit under the ugly countertop that extended over the toilet...but came to realize that the little house's toilet had not only been the world's smallest toilet, its kind was apparently now extinct.  So Henry returned to the little house with a saw, a crowbar (no pun intended) and several other "serious" looking tools and did something that changed life as they knew it for the Crows.


Henry the Handyman cut the ugly flesh-colored countertop and removed the portion that extended over the toilet...and then removed the world's smallest toilet from the little bathroom in the little, teeny, tiny, house in Nod.


And that was that...it was gone.

{To Be Continued....}

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The WWR Chronicles ~ Part I

{In 2014, we undertook a HUGE remodel project.  During (and since) that time, several followers asked me to post photos of the remodel project (yes really).  I never have...for the following (among other) reasons:(1) the project isn't really and truly "complete;" (2) I didn't have the sense to take good "before" photos; (3) I doubted a lot of people would be interested; (4) I really didn't know where to begin; and (5) By now, it's old news and I thought that most of those followers who had asked had long since drifted away. Well, with regard to the last point, I may be mostly correct, but there is, in fact, one faithful follower who still asks...and so begins the WWR Chronicles.  These will be divided into separate posts, and clearly labeled as such, so if you have no interest in WWR, you can pass over quickly with my blessing.  I have no idea HOW many segments there will be at this point (heck, they, like the remodel project, may never end)....but I do intend to intersperse "regular" blog posts in between the chronicles so as not to completely drive you all away. Oh...and if you're wondering what WWR stands for:  WHEN WE REMODELEDTo first-time visitors and passers-by: this is really not my typical blog fodder LOL.....}    

Once upon a time, in the cold, cold, land of Nod, there was a teeny, tiny, house.
Mama and Papa Crow had purchased the little house when they first married and thought it would be a great starter home.  And, indeed, it was:  the little house kept them warm and (mostly) dry, saw the addition of a Little Crow, and, overall, was cute as a bug's ear.  But, alas, over the years, the little house was stretched to the limits of its square footage and, in time, became far too small for the Crow family...especially since Mama Crow was somewhat of a collector gatherer hoarder.


For years, Mama and Papa Crow dreamed of finding a nice piece of land....one with more acreage and lots of woods, but still somewhat accessible to civilization...and building a larger house.  But every piece that fit the Crows' (somewhat particular) criteria did not fit the Crows' (somewhat limited) budget.

Well, as things go, when Little Crow grew older, he developed an affinity for taking things apart and putting them back together....rather large things, like cars and trucks. And not just the Crows' cars and trucks...but a lot of peoples' cars and trucks....neighbor's cars and trucks, friends' cars and trucks...you name it's cars and trucks.....
This put a strain on the little house's little garage....so, eventually, Papa Crow built Little Crow a separate garage....complete with all the accouterments a young mechanically-inclined crow could ask for.

(Little Crow's "garage/shop" is to the left and behind the main house...far left building in this photo.... The building to the right is the original (detached) garage that came with the little house.)

This kept Little Crow mostly amused for a good long while.  But inside...ahh...inside, the little house was still a little house....And it was becoming a TIRED little house...sporting the same wallpaper that the owners before the Crows had put on its walls 30 years ago and that no longer even covered the entire walls as the Crows had replaced the little house's windows somewhere along the way.

Mama Crow suggested that the wallpaper be removed, but if that was done, it only made sense (to Mama Crow at least) to replace the leaky outdated calcified gross kitchen faucet...and...maybe....perhaps....the outdated fake wood countertops... But Mama Crow's suggestions went no where....

Until the day the toilet in the little house broke....


{To Be Continued.....}