Monday, May 25, 2009

Cousin Itt

My wisteria is loaded this year! This type of wisteria (what kind it is I have no idea!) grows wild around here in certain places. This was a little sprout dug up from my friend's woods. It's about 4 years old.

Most wisterias take about 7 to 10 years to bloom but this stuff just takes a couple! And it will take over and choke out anything else around it if left on it's own. I buried an old ladder in the back yard well away from everything else and let it go to town. Soon it will get too top heavy and break the ladder so I'll have to cut it down and start over but for now I just enjoy the look of it. I've nicknamed it Cousin Itt from the Addams Family (does anyone one else remember that far back?)!

I spotted another patch of it today not too far from dad's house if I need more starts of it.

Those are trees under all that! This is out in the old coal mine country and there used to be a house here. I don't know if it was planted here or just started on it's own. Oh, the smell in this area is heavenly!

Click on the pics for a larger view.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A mess

What's up with some of these child-proof caps? I mean some of them take an act of congress to get open!

I just bought a new bottle of baby oil (get your mind out of the gutter! It's NOT for THAT! I use it on the bottom of my feet because they get so dry and cracked,I'm too old and fat to buy it for those "other" reasons!)

It wouldn't open, just sat there and spun. Hmmm. So I put my eyes on and checked out the writing on the top.

"Push down top and turn while holding opposing sides in"

Okay besides the fact that I don't have seven fingers on my hand to perform this feat, that still didn't work!

I pushed and twisted, held in, rotated, and generally turned that cap every which way but loose!

No go.

(I'm pretty sure I heard the cap laughing at me)

I try again. And again.

Still no go.

(by this time I know that whoever designed this thing is rolling on the floor busting a gut thinking about someone trying to open it!)

So I'm sitting here with a death grip on the bottle and trying to open the cap when...


The bottle split open along the side.

Yep! Baby oil absolutely EVERYWHERE!

Except of course on my feet.

So I have to get up and throw the bed clothes in the washer (and the bottle in the trash!!!!)

I can't imagine a young mother trying to open this thing while holding down a screaming, squirming baby!

Are packaging manufacturers sadist?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today out at the farm was another "repair the barn roof" day. Only this time I didn't get to throw the hammer at brother!

The old barn was very poorly constructed by dad,like most things around here it was done half-assed and as cheaply as possible. Rather that spend just a touch more and buy longer nails,dad went the cheapest route and bought short nails, as a result, the wind is working the short nails out and letting the tin fly off the barn!

Anyhoo, on the west side of the barn (we worked on the east side last time) there is a rain gutter just above my head. While brother was getting the tools and supplies ready for the repair I decided to clean that gutter out. I could just reach up and pull the leaves and crap out of it.

I cleaned out about 15 feet of it (nasty old rotted leaves and twigs,smelly!) before bro was ready to go up on the roof.

Part of my job today was using my considerable weight on the ladder to keep it from tipping up and letting bro fall off the roof. While I was up on the ladder I glanced down at the gutter to see how much more nasty shit there was to clean out.

About 10" from where I stopped reaching up blindly to grab crap out of the gutter was a large snake!

It was a barn snake about 5' long! Apparently it crawled up there to sun itself.

If bro had not been ready to work on the roof I would have continued down that gutter and grabbed that sucker!

I would have had a heart-attack right there on the spot!

Of course this would have been after I had a screaming fit and scared the hell out of neighbors at least a mile away!

Monday, May 11, 2009

There's no way! It's not possible!Can we really? Finally?

Could it be possible we might be able to finally tear down the old house?
Dad has not given in for the last 5 years and let us tear down the old family house. The house sits right next to the new house but dad thinks it is still livable and just needs a bit of work. Well,it is beyond repair,the roof has huge holes in it,the floor has collapsed and the walls ain't far behind! It is a major hazard!

(check some pics of a previous post to see the condition of the house)

We finally got approval to order a storage building to put some of the stuff in that is still good. When the shed arrives in a couple of weeks it will be too tall (on the truck) to pass under the old wires to the house so dad let us take the wires down over the weekend (which also takes the old house off the tax roll! As long as power was run to that house we had to pay taxes on it even tho it was unlivable! As long as there were wires run to the house it was considered a residence)

I thought that was a major deal! The first step in convincing dad that the house had to go!

Well when I got out to the farm today, brother said we were taking down the old metal chimney off the back porch. I expected a major battle but dad was okay with it! Years ago when dad put that chimney up, he had welded some straps to it and then bolted it to the house. We took the bolts out and then realized that the pipe would not fall over because the straps were hitting the eaves of the house and wouldn't let it come down.

We tried and tried to figure out a way to make the straps clear the eave without ripping the eaves out, the straps wouldn't bend and the boards were nailed in every which way to Sunday on the eaves.

Dad came out while we were puzzling over it and said...

"Just rip those damn boards down, the whole place is coming down anyways!"

What? What? Did I hear him correctly? Is he finally accepting the fact that the house has to be torn down?

My shock for the day!

(of course brother probably will have to listen to him bitch all evening about it!)

Hopefully this attitude of his will continue and we can get this hazard torn down!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Mom had a green thumb. I can remember as a child the profusion of flowers around the house that mom had.
Oh the colors and the beauty! I was enchanted! Well once the brothers got old enough to mow the flowers started to disappear. I come from a family that hates to mow around anything! If it was in front of the mower it was fair game!
Slowly but surely everything gave up the ghost after being mowed down for several seasons!
Of all the fabulous flowers that I remember from my youth,very few survive today. I can remember a whole row of Iris (one of my fav flowers) in almost every color of the rainbow,only this single yellow and a few purple are left.
Mom had a huge bed of orange Oriental Poppies, gone now, Snow On The Mountains, history now, a Lilac bush that was pulled out of the ground because "it way in the way of turning the mower", several flowering trees that were also "in the way", several colors of Peony's (one determined white one remains!) and several others.
There are a few that refuse to go away and bravely comes back every year no matter how many times Brother mows them down!
The Paperwhites are trying their best to keep it going,the aforementioned Iris, the Lily Of The Valley is still going strong (but will have to be moved before the old house comes down or it is toast) and I have managed to save one Spirea bush (out of FIVE!) and it is doing good this year.
The pink vining Rose didn't survive last years spraying of a lethal brush killer, another casualty of "I don't want to mow around it"
I sure wish I had the opportunity to have starts of those flowers for my yard now!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Death of a Lady

This lovely old Victorian Painted Lady is slated for destruction here in town to make room for a new Dollar General store! Now granted I like the idea of the Dollar General being closer to me in a more convenient location (right now it is on the edge of town and a real pain in the ass to get in and out of) but I hate the idea of this fantastic house having to bite the dust!

This is a glorious old house that I don't understand why has sat empty for years. I attended an auction there about three years ago and got to tour her. She was beautifully preserved inside with a great fancy wrap-around staircase,gorgeous woodwook,wainscoting,fireplaces,etc.

The outside had been badly remodeled (or rather remuddled!) with horrible wide aluminum siding that was poorly installed. And all the fretwork was removed from the porches. I can remember this house when I was a kid (back in the stone age) and she was a very fanciful house, with the narrow clapboard siding, fishscales in the gables and gingerbread everywhere!

Painted up properly she would have been a great example of a Painted Lady. Someone tried to give her the look by painting that horrid aluminum siding in shades of purple. But the effect was like painting an old lady up like a whore.

I guess no one wanted her, she has been sold four times in the last three years and no one ever moved in! Something must have been horribly wrong with her. She had been wired for electricity, had central air and a fairly new heating system.

The location totally sucked, almost no yard space and on a busy street but there are other old homes in this town with similar spaces and people have restored them.

If I had the money I would have bought here and moved her to a more suitable locale.

Thankfully the current owner was smart enough to save as much of the good stuff as possible. She contracted a salvage company to remove the windows,woodwook,fireplaces,the stairs and anything else that could be reused to help restore someone else's beloved old house.
So many times when someone decides to tear down an old house they don't bother to save anything and some great stuff is forever lost.

The little green frame house next door meets an untimely death too, but it needed alot of work.

Death of a Lady pt 2

As you can see the salvage of the goodies has been started.

This fantastic spiderweb leaded glass window on the second floor was covered over! Why someone would hide this gem is beyond me. The only reason I can think of is the ones that did the remuddling and slapped on that horrid aluminum siding were too lazy to fit the siding around it!

Thankfully they didn't cover over the stained glass windows on the first floor! There were two of these windows on the first floor and both were in closets! I've noticed that alot of times in older houses the fancy windows were located in the closet spaces and always wondered why the builders put them there. Well I found out when talking to one of the salvage gus there, back when these houses were built, either electricity was limited or just unavailable so windows were often in closets and using stained glass windows let the light in without the botheration of curtains and kept the contents of your closet private from outside eyes! And the fact that these closets were big enough to use as changing rooms, the use of stained glass really makes sense!

Even the eaves were detailed!

And now she is just a pile of rubbish. Very sad!