the rumors of my death...

as Mark Twain once said, are greatly exaggerated.
The rather lengthy absence of late has been due to an overwhelming amount of house remodeling, traveling, holiday celebrations and, probably more important, a complete and utter lack of anything interesting to say. I don't blog much in the summer, anyway, but this has been an unusually long lay off. And, although you might think so, I haven't very much to say, in spite of the flurry of movement I've been making during the past month. Our bathroom is pretty much complete, just some baseboard to refit and install, some nail holes to fill and paint over, some touch up painting to do. It's an incredible change, I wish I had some "before" pictures, although I'd be hesitant to show them to you, it was, as I can best describe, low budget country Victorian; too much wood and faux brass, busy wallpaper, horrible tile floor with a pattern that would make PT Barnum do a double take. Now it has dark wine color walls with white wood trim in the main part, the tub room and toilet room are a medium khaki color, both with white trim, a bleached pine floor, dark mahogany vanity, which is nothing more than a very shallow cabinet on short legs that sits against the wall, with a large white basin that juts over the front about eight inches. All the fixtures and the lights and such are a dark oiled bronze. Nice cream color rugs with rose accents, as is the shower curtain. I refinished the two original four panel doors, the one that leads into the room and the one that enters the main closet in the large part of the room. The toilet room door and linen close door by the tub were sixties era style hollow flat door, I made new four panel doors to match the others. I restored the old rim locks and hinges on the old doors and found matching reproduction locks and hinges for the new doors, so they all match. I purchased reproduction white porcelain knobs for all, large ones for the main door and toilet room door, slightly smaller ones for the closet doors. The casing work and baseboards are of a style that would be found in a house of this era, which was built in 1841. I took a bunch of pictures of the room right after the major portion of the work was completed, I'll post them as soon as I get them developed, alas, no digital camera for me yet. Mrs. SOG found a nice little glass front floor cabinet and one of those thingies you stand over the toilet in wood that almost matches the vanity exactly and when I was shopping for some hardware, I found a flusher handle for the toilet in oiled bronze that matches the sink fixtures and a toilet seat in the same color wood, so it all sort of came together. It's a very plain, yet elegant room now, much more comfortable than it was. Even with the dark wine color walls, it seems brighter, probably because of the bright white trim work and the light floor. Still have to find window shades we like, as well as curtains, we have no neighbors so it's not a big deal to have nothing on the windows. The window in the toilet room is shaded by boughs from the large hemlock tree on that side of the house, so you can't see in, nor see out, really. It's almost like being in a tree house.
The one think I still have to do is finish enclosing the tub, I'm building a false paneled wall along the length of it, that will match the four panel doors in style and give the tub a more friendly look, instead of all that white enamel staring at you when you go into that room. We anguished about getting a claw foot tub, but would have had to dig very deep in the purse and relinquished that desire for the paneled wall in front of the existing tub. It's not like it's out in the open, anyway, being in it's own little room. This will all make sense once you see the pictures, I suppose. So much for the bathroom.
The annual Independence Day Party was pretty mellow, not the loud, merry event of past years. Not one horseshoe game was played, but we still had a fire in our fancy new outdoor fire thingy, which was an impulse purchase on Mother's Day. It's a bit nicer than the old brick lined pit that served us well for a long time, plus a fair bit safer, all screened in and such. It serves the purpose and, unlike the pit, can be moved about as the mood strikes.
It's been an odd year, garden-wise; most of the perennials that usually bloom around the Forth came in almost two weeks early, so the show was not as good as in previous years. The day lilies, however, just set blooms last week and there's nary a bud on the crape myrtles yet, I fear they may not flower at all. That happened once before and they died off on me. I cut them down to the ground and they came back with a mission and were gorgeous for a few years, now they're looking bleak again. The ground covers and annuals are going hell bent for blooms and foliage this season, but my vines are non-existent, at best, the trellis by the back door is, for the most part, bare. Even the prickly pears didn't show like they usually do. Might be something to this climate change crap, after all. Or not.
I still have to fill the gaping pit in the eastern yard where the swimming pool used to be, I think that will be an end of August, early September task, as I want to plant grass seed there for now and that's the time to do it. Never a dull moment here at Stately Sad Old Goth Manor.
Other than that, as if that's not enough, life has been plodding along. I'm still waiting for Fred to declare for 2008, you can still buy a t-shirt in my cafe press store if you're so inclined to support him. I've managed to lose most of the forty pounds I wanted to get rid of, just over thirty, so I'm pretty happy about that.
Well, my good and dear fellow wanderers, I'm going to take my leave now. I need another Dewar's and soda and a smoke, and want to upload a new CD to my iPod, a double live thing by Renaissance, remember them? I hope you've all been well, now that I've come back to ground for a while, I'll be back to posting on a regular basis, whatever that is.
Be nice to each other, and be nice to yourself. It's not selfish to love yourself more than others, once in a while.

wander with me...



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