Thursday, December 31, 2015

LIttle by Little....

It's becoming a bathroom again! 

Amazing how such a small room can take so much work to complete!! After the tile cured for a couple days I did the grouting and caulked around the tub I put 3 coats of tile sealer on...


I wish I could go with glass doors on this tub have to look into it...its not a "normal" tub with the extra length at the back....I put the handles on ....this is a Moen, and Im not too happy with it, everything is so crapily made these days! Where is the quality? Probably in the $300 faucets?  I really wish I could find some old ones made of all metal!  I don't think these will last long..

      Then I stained the floor 

           I nailed on the baseboards, then installed the toilet..

I got the tall oval in white...once again not top line I will eventually replace the seat; why do they put these floppy seats on a new toilet? There was one marked down because it had a cracked seat I thought of getting it but was afraid the bowl may have a hairline here is the Throne..*G*  the water is not turned on I'll fill it to check for leaks once the floor is dry.  And record that first flush!!

I put down one coat of Poly so far it needs 2 more...then start figuring out the vanity and the rest of the fixtures to finish it all off.

*    *     *

And I found 2 wood chairs for my dining room at the Habitat store I think they are maple, love the carved backs...Now I have enough seating to have a dinner party!! :0) They are quite sturdy for a simple chair.



   I  have ordered the 3 canvases for the living room wall  as I mentioned....and I expect them to arrive any day now..

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Could this be the Last...

Full Moon to fall on Christmas in my lifetime?
Christmas day I had a good get together with family I cooked for 2 days to prepare dinner for 7...glad it was successful now happy its over and done!  Soon as it was dark I headed out to do something I love doing alone...

60 second exposure 

with my camera to see and record the Rare Christmas Full Moon!  What I read is: this is the first moon to fall on Christmas day since the new 25,000 year cosmic cycle that began in 2012...remember the Mayan calendar thing? So there will be other magnificent celestial events occurring some we have no recorded history of!! Gosh makes me want to live forever...I really hate to miss the most awesome things that are coming!! 

more clouds moving over the moon

It is a 19 year cycle...only we have not had one to actually fall on Christmas day since 1979 due to leap year moving the date around...We had some heavy cloud cover but then the sky brightened and I was so GLAD!  

I took a few long exposures of the moving clouds while I waited it was an amazing night.  The stars were quite bright in the clearing patches..

We won't see another full moon fall on Christmas day until the year 2034...

Some of us will be around to see it some of us won't If I'm still here I will be 81 my Mom is 91 so it is possible...

But when you're 91 you are not too keen on going out to stand in the middle of the road at night...;O/ to shoot the moon...

 I want to be one of the ones who does...

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Lookin' back to the future...


Well another year of blogging behind us, and 365 days to blog in front of!  As years go this one was a pretty good one I am *Knocking on Wood* as we speak, oak on my left, mahogany on my right, I've got it covered.  The highlight was of course the fall road trip where I drove an amazing 10,000 miles there and back journey.  My house project is creeping closer and closer to being "done" if that word even exists when speaking of home ownership...and Mom had NO hospital stays this yr!!  My x settled into the senior care facility very well and he even has a girlfriend...I am thrilled; I saw him at Thanksgiving he did not know me and asked me who I was I told him my name is Sondra, he replied, "you look a little bit like her".  I guess he remembers the 21 yr old gal he married not the 62 yr old golden girl I am now Relief is all I can say! My son is still going strong with his girl friend, he changed jobs and is happy, my sisters are walking their own path, the only thing I broke this year was my pinky finger it's a bit crooked but still works fine, and my extended family continues to grow as my Mom is a Great, Great, Aunt several times over and I am officially RETIRED...what more could a person ask for???

I hope all who read this blog look back at 2015 with your own approval and are looking forward with stars in your eyes, big plans in your mind, and headed in the direction of your dreams!

Happy Holidays from DixxeLand!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Since my last update post (10 days ago) I've been tiling around the shower/tub. It has been really lie--my arms have been aching with tiredness each night.  I bought a tile cutter at Lowes instead of renting one it was cheap like $19.  And then I had to buy a diamond tipped bit for my drill to cut the faucet holes...
live and learn, right? I just hope it will be water tight when its all done...some of my grout lines are is what it is!
(Flickr lost my photos so these are only before and afters)

Before It was a almond color with pink wall paper...

 I got a pale grey color for the grout...and I painted the tub white, behind the tile is cement board and on the floor under the tub also..

 The end of the tub had a short shelf, before 

I made a taller one with a storage cubby for cleaning supplies.


  The John area before


and the light fixture is up over where the mirror will go...its the oil rubbed bronze color I plan to tie it all together with the vanity so we'll see how that goes.  I built the vanity out of scrap material of the beadborad wall panel I put on the walls. 

  And I found some cool globes from Habitat store for had some cute globes but one got broken in all the make-over-mayhem!

The floor before...Before 

 the entire floor had to be ripped out and the subfloor too...

The wall canvas arrived....however I didn't like the size for the big wall in the living room area...that wall needs something longer and this is the longest canvas they make so I did a grouping of 3 canvases,  so I hung this one in the dining room, 

I ordered a 3 canvas grouping of  2) 18 x 24"s and one 32 x 24" of some of my original artwork, and I like this better...

Meanwhile today my son is here ripping the rest of the old wood off the deck out back...he has promised to help me with a few of the heavier projects...Im thrilled!

Progress, is in progress!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Zombie Apocalypse is here...

A good weekend for me...Mom had been away visiting in Greenville so I met up with sis and Mom in one of my favorite Mexican eateries in our town.  One thing we noticed is how few of the people sitting at tables and booths around us were conversing...Most were staring at the dang cell phones! They looked like Zombies all heads down mouths open and under some kind of "spell" 

Geeze....How rude! I know its the 21st 
century but each skill we don't use we lose! I spend quite a bit of time alone or with Mom only and conversing with her is getting harder, have to keep it very simple, just regular stuff or she gets confused...then I get confused trying to un-confuse  So when I get a chance to actually have a conversation with someone it's exciting.  I sure as heck wouldn't sit there and say nothing if the person sitting with me was interacting with their Phone more than they were Me, I'd call them out and tell them to turn that thing off or I'm going home to talk to myself! 
Okay well just an observation of how I see it,  So aside from that exciting event, I had a new bird right in my OWN BACKYARD on Friday morning! Just really made my weekend! I saw this dark bird in the back yard tossing leaves left and right and I knew I had never seen one like it before so I ran for the camera..

Rusty Blackbird!

He has a mask like Zorro...looks like one of those Angry Birds I saw on the internet...

He was so busy it was hard to get a decent photo of him..and Annie wanted to follow me around but amazingly the dog didn't scare him off!  He was finding a few goodies under those leaves...

I made a quick video of him and he began calling...and then he flew off with a buddy who I didn't see until they took off headed east!!


It was so cool to see this bird...and to see my sis and have Mom back home! 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bath update!

I'm currently working on the Bathroom...

NO I'm not a carpenter, but big I'm building something anyway! Here is the floor its a pine tongue n groove its all in now I need to update this photo...but I covered it over with some old rugs to protect it while I continue to work in the Ill have to photo it later in the finished stage. I plan to try and match the natural finish like the existing floor... I put this ac vent here for a reason...before the duct work underneath blocked the access for plumbers to get in and do any repairs now it does not...I will put a rug over it with a loose weave and the air can still make it through Besides the heat and ac unit is NOT working so until that is replaced space heat n cooling will have to do...I put insulation in the exterior wall and used some of the rigid foam panels in the interior walls..

 I swore off sheetrock or dry wall as they call it...I ate enough of that fine dust to choke a cow so I decided to go with bead board on the walls. I inspected all the wood they offered at Lowes and went with the bare unpainted one due to its sturdiness...those floppy sheets of paneling are like handling fabric it droops n falls on your head while you're trying to stand it in this is rigid bead board wood panel sheets! I've finished nailing up the wood panels,

and caulked the seams, put up the crown molding, and painted that.. I've primed the walls (I did that today).  I did not use the original trim around the window, it was in bad I went with this kinda artsy stuff...its up and painted it will need a second coat.

...can you see the slight blue color just around the window? Its very pale, that is the color I selected for the wall.

Beadboard wood paneling painted light blue 

I purchased the tile to put around the tub...I really HOPE I made the right color choice..

I am using a 12 x 12 tile (forgot to photo those) in  white as my main tile, its not a glazed tile it has a matte finish, it was on sale for 42c each I am using the 2 x 3 tiles as an accent border I will cut it in a row of 2 tiles and put it about half way or maybe at the level of the shelf? And the 3 x 12 bull nose is for the sides and top they did not have the bull nose in the matching white...I will also use the sheets of 2 x 3" for the top of that shelf at the back of the tub. Tomorrow I will finish the wall painting and put in the baseboards, and I have to come up with some sort of door for the little shelf/cabinet behind the tub...I have some old cabinet doors maybe I can cut one down and use it?  I got them FREE and have made a few other projects with the wood.

Once the painting and tiling is done I will purchase the toilet I'm going with a tall oval bowl ...and install it prior to the vanity since it will be easier to work in that corner without the vanity in the way.  I hope I can do that job...I've never put one in by myself, I've always had a helper...maybe I can get my son to help me, he owes me money sooooo...:o)

Still a lot of work left to do in this bath but its moving along faster than I thought it the hard part starts the tiling and grouting.  I have to rent a tile cutter I've used one before it's no fun but I think I can do it...therefore I can!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Closer look at Craters of the Moon

I didn't do a very good post on my stay at Craters of the Moon due to not having internet ....So I wanted to go back and fill in that blank! It was a very unique spot...I enjoyed my stay there...the landscape is other worldly looking for sure.  I met the nice lady here who gave me the tip on the butane stove I told y'all about.  She was a van camper too using a minivan for her camper.  She has a folding cot in the back with a 4 inch foam mattress on top and then her sleeping bag.  I enjoyed seeing everyone's version of how to "hit the road"

I arrived in the afternoon so I saved the next day to tour the was a little tight the way I wanted to situate my van but with some back n forthing etc I got it in the way I wanted!  The sites were not paved they had a fine layer of volcanic pebble on them..and it was hard to keep our feet clean so if you go there get a good foot mat by your entrance.

my spot had some exposed rocks  to stumble and  trip over ;o).. the reason I wanted to put it HERE in between the picnic table and the grill is for one thing  I don't use the grill and it was the most level spot I don't carry anything to level my van so I try to park on the level-est part of my site and in this site that was the spot.


The CG has water and bathrooms no shower house no hookups and it was a $5 self pay camp fee for seniors and Free Entrance to the park with the senior pass...a VERY nice Visitor Center within walking distance of the CG and a paved walk to get there. 

This flow happened 2,000 yrs around 15 AD?  It became a park in 1924 and the name came via an article by Robert Limbert published in the National Geographic magazine. "Among the Craters of the Moon." Before that it was referred to as the Cinder Buttes Limbert hiked the entire length of the "Great Riff" in 1920.  This area is the youngest example of fissure eruption in the US and President Coolidge singed the proclamation making it a National Monument. In 1962 the addition of an island of vegetation completely surrounded by lava known as Carey Kipuka increased the size of the
monument by 5360 acres and in 1970 it was increased to included the entire Great Riff Zone. 


NPS photo 

... the walking paths are paved and it makes for easy viewing of an other wise kinda hostile  landscape...

the Ropey type of lava flow

Don't you wish EVERY trail you ever hiked had this wonderfully detailed signage???
These little white Buckwheat wildflowers help to break the smaller cinder pebbles down into even finer Lava Dust..

Here is a cinder garden and you can see the finer dust mound  behind with less flowers; winds can now carry this lava sand to other areas and trees can get a hold in that.  

and there is a nice driving tour of the park...the distant treeless hills are a beautiful backdrop for the lava beds..

The plants help to change the lava  into the volcanic soil like that in the campground.. I found the plants to be very hardy! How do like this ropy lava flow...I think its my favorite if Im asked those tried and true questions like Coke or Pepsi, Republican or Democrat, Ford or Chevy, Aa or Ropy, I'll go with Ropy which is really a type of Pahoehoe depends on how fast or slow it cooled as to what name describes it!
And even tho Im saying it breaks down I don't know that it actually does but the plants are able to establish themselves in different types of the flow.

A tumble of rocks

Actually its Aa, Pahoehoe, and Pillow is another type of Basalt lava where it looks like biscuits that rose in a pan, the Ropy looks like coiled rope!  And Rhyolite is chemically different than basalt lava...


                    Some fissure are  visible and the fall foliage, small as it is, was quite striking!

These are cinder cone fragments....they are as tall as a two story house!

NPS Photo

and the views were beautiful! Here we're looking through 2 cinder cone mounds. 


It was warm there on Sept 14-15 when I was there....and the heat remained for the first hour after the sun started to set so I kept my screens up and the side doors open till it cooled to a chill...later in the night I heard some rustling of plastic...I kept asking Casey what was he doing...but when I turned the lamp on he was not doing anything...hmmm found out next day when I went to eat my p-nut butter nabs we'd had a critter in the night!! Then I got to wondering if it was still in the van...I looked everywhere found nothing...but  we sure had us a bold visitor of some sort come in and help himself!!  Of course I have not removed the turtle shell that fits over the interior part of my engine..Maybe I should! ;-O

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.