Tag Archives: around the house

Have you ever had one of those days….


You know the ones, they start out innocently enough, swerve and then drive you straight to Hell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Mine was this past Saturday when I attempted to do some gardening. Pansies needed to be planted in my pots on the barn porch… but this did not go as planned.



All I did was pick them up, I swear! The bottom fell out of one, the other split in half. I should have quit then, I really should have… but no. I decided to fire up the old weed wacker and trim.

I trimmed around my garden beds, I trimmed around the apple trees and then I trimmed around the septic tank access block.

Bad idea. Very bad.

The ground was still wet… which caused my foot to slip… which caused the weed wacker to knock the cement cover askew… which rammed a piece of rotted wood in the frame….



And… well. It went downhill from there.

Literally and figuratively.



I’ll spare you the odoriferous details, but trust me… they were epic. 🤢

Suffice it to say we spent the entire afternoon with our heads in the septic tank.

I do not recommend this as a relaxing weekend activity. Not one little bit.



A new concrete tank cap was purchased and maneuvered into place (God damn! Those things are heavy.) and a new frame was built so yours truly is not able to repeat this mishap.



I kept trying to tell my husband it could have been worse. The cover could have fallen into the tank and someone… I’m not saying who… would have had to climb in to retrieve it.

Oddly enough, he didn’t find that the least bit funny.




OSHA who…?


My husband finally fixed two of the three leaking gutters he put up a while back. Although gerry rigged would be a more apt description.

The repairs involved rolled metal sheeting and so much cursing I disappeared into the house for most of it. But when I went to check the progress on the barn a few hours later….



I marveled at the non OSHA approved stabilizing device he had employed.



Extension ladder in fear of falling over?

Tie it to a post.


When that repair was complete, he moved onto the section of leaking gutter on the garage and gathered his tools.



When I followed him over and saw a section of tree limb was involved? I did what any self respecting spouse would do… and went back in the house.


Holiday weekends rock.


But at our house, not in the way you might think.



This is one of our stone walls. It’s the smallest and has been falling in on itself for years.



Mainly because when my husband built it 19 years ago, he didn’t listen to me and dug it level to the higher edge of lawn.



You can’t tell but there’s over a two foot difference in height there.

Anyway… on July 2nd, the start of the holiday weekend, I came home from the grocery store and found this.



Because the husband decided July 4th was the perfect time to redo the corner of the wall where stones were starting to slip into the ditch. He enlisted a friend, dug a trench and figured this jerry rigged engineering marvel would work.



A slab of untreated wood, a line of black stakes and yes, God help me… roofing shingles to hold back the dirt. Not what I would call aesthetically pleasing.

There was a discussion. Followed by a heated debate. Which turned into the beginning of an argument. I offered multiple solutions and they did not go over well. Naturally the husband wanted to do as little lifting as possible because, you know… rocks = heavy. But if you’re going to rebuild a wall? You can’t just do one section, and after some (not so) gentle persuading, he finally saw it my way. Since the slipping stones were his main concern I conceded defeat on that point and we eliminated the corner.



Filling it in with dirt which we will then seed or sod.



And then the real work began.

If you’ve never built a rock wall? (And I mean a real New England cement free rock wall, with rocks of all different shapes and sizes and weights… not the nice flat ones you buy at a landscapers) Trust me, it’s work!



Which is undoubtedly why my husband only wanted to do a corner.



Silly man, he really should have known better.



Day one? It went something like this:

Move rocks, install barrier, argue with wife, remove barrier, curse wife under your breath, fill hole with dirt, move rocks, curse wife again, start rebuilding entire wall when all you wanted to do was one corner, move rocks, curse wife under breath one more time because you can and she’s too far away to hear you.



To be continued….


Guttering and gardening.


The new guttering installation continued and moved to the back deck.



Where a lovely rose I planted last year is starting to bloom.



And since things were not going smoothly with said installation….



I concentrated on the gardening.



Look… my first gay feather!



Installation complete, it was time for the hose.

The water test did not go well.



Not well at all ….



So…. peonies!



And Lord Dudley Mountcatten who was watching water leak from the gutters through an open window. When the cursing started, I moved around front.



To the old stone garden bed under the crabapple tree the previous owners had made. I added some hostas and New Guinea impatiens this year.



And constantly wonder why they didn’t use the same size stones all the way around.


Winter blues….


No, not the depression.




Sorry, not the brothers either.

I’m talking about the colors.

Living in Maine, most of our winters are white. But there’s also a lot of beautiful blue…




And when a storm is moving in?




It’s really quite lovely.




These were all taken through my dirty winter windows last month, so be kind.




But spots and all..




You have to admit winter blues are pretty.




Even the ones that turn out kind of weird.





So…. this is happening.


You may remember me posting pictures of our little red barn/shed.

We use it as a shed, but it was originally a small barn complete with horse. The horse is long gone…. and 40 odd years later?

The barn/shed is almost gone as well.




Falling apart?

You could say that…




Rotted wood?



The mere fact that it’s still standing never ceases to amaze me.




It’s horrible. An eye sore on our otherwise lovely property. The bane of my existence for a long, long time.

It’s state of disrepair is the main reason we spent $50,000 and 7 years of nights and weekends building a new and much larger barn.


IMG_0158 (Edited)


The plan? All the mowers and weed whackers, the snow blower, the tractor and assorted yard tools that were in the shed/barn were supposed to go into the new barn…. and the eyesore would be torn down.



But that never happened, and now the husband….. who has already filled the new barn with CRAP wants to rebuild the shed/barn to continue housing the mowers, tractor etc.

So this is happening.




Husband deemed part of the interior framing sound, and started what I thought was deconstruction of the back half…. which needs to be completely rebuilt..

Now my idea of deconstruction consists of ripping off the roof, then the walls. The husband’s?

I’m not quite sure.




He put up a new piece of wood…




Ostensibly to brace the roof… though why you need to brace something you’re tearing down is beyond me.




But look at the piece he’s bracing! Rotted doesn’t begin to describe it…




Yeah. He trimmed it…

The rotted piece of wood.




He sawed off a section of wall… by hand, even though the chainsaw was right there.




And made a bigger hole.




He elongated the brace….




And added wood running along the bottom.



He was supposed to be tearing it down…. so WTH?

Naturally I had to ask.

And naturally, he wouldn’t answer.

It was hot, he was cranky and I dared to question his technique.

Silly me.








Cleaning out the photo files…


A few random shots that are clogging up my computer and not individually blog worthy.




Clearly this t shirt has my name on it..

And someone should purchase it for me forthwith.




Sadly, this also has my name on it.

But hey –





In other news, I love a backyard bird sighting.




And though Evening Grosbeaks are common to our area….




We’ve never had them here.




Until now.




And with a pecker photo bomb.




How fun is that?




And finally?





Because yes…

That little bastard needs to go.












Yay for me.


The understanding wife.

I recently celebrated a birthday. (Okay, there was more silent cursing of my advancing years than actual celebrating, but you get the idea.)

The husband had some lovely flowers delivered…




Which have opened quite nicely since then.




As well as a really large card.




The phrase “size doesn’t matter” clearly has no meaning for my other half, as evidenced by his gift.




A monstrously large  (not to mention monstrously expensive)  Breville appliance.

I must have made the mistake of muttering under my breath about needing a new toaster oven recently… because boy, I’ve got one now.




It’s like that old Ginsu knife they used to advertise ad nauseam in the 80’s. It slices, it dices, it cleans your fish.




But… but…

While I appreciate the thought, all I really wanted was toast.

So I unpacked and played with my new toy in between doing hair and makeup and getting ready to go out to dinner as we always do on my  damn it, don’t remind me I’m older  birthday.

Except…. (here comes the understanding wife part) my kind, considerate husband called to say his friend at the office won Bruins tickets and he’d like to go with him down to Boston for the night.



Yes, he’s a brave soul.


#1…. I turned … never mind what I turned. Suffice it to say it’s generally not an easy age for women.

#2…. I just weaned myself off my estrogen patch a few weeks ago and, have been  experiencing uncontrollable psychotic rages  a little moody.

#3…. I had planned on a few celebratory cocktails. (Which no one should get in the way of and expect to live.)

Regardless, he plowed ahead with all the reasons he should attend while I listened quietly and agreed. The ever understanding wife.

That being said, let me leave you with a word of advice gentlemen….




We women have long memories.


And the summer sucking project turns another corner.


Yeah, we’re still at it.




Another corner turned, another paper wall flapping in the breeze.




I am officially sick of vinyl siding.

If you’ve ever put it on, you know what I mean. If you’re thinking of putting it on? Don’t. Second mortgage the house, sell a future unnamed child… whatever it takes…. and hire a professional. Yes they charge an utter fortune, and now I know why. This stuff will drive you to drink.




Yes, he screwed that in place. And no, he was too annoyed to answer my innocent WTF question.

Hell, even the dog looked confused.

(Not ours, we were dog sitting for the farmers over the weekend. Dogs, chickens…. whatcha got? We’ll watch them all!)

Please let it be noted I cringed when I saw this –




Because when your husband pays $4,000 to fix scratches and paint his old truck? And then uses it as a workbench?







But the back was finished…




With the third side well on it’s way.

And in case you’re thinking all I do is take blog pictures while he’s hard at work, think again.




I have to take up the mowing slack this project has left behind.




And trust me, it’s a lot of mowing.




I earn my keep.




If only I had a little help…