Thursday, January 16, 2014

Birds and A Dining Room Project

I just can't believe how fast time is passing, it's mid-January, already!  And with the heat and drought, you'd think it was May.  85 degrees in mid-January in the Northern Hemisphere is NOT my idea of winter.  I did see a couple of Oregon Juncos in the backyard a couple of days ago, so maybe they're precursors to finally getting some winter weather, but the 10-day outlook isn't looking hopefully.  The first two pictures below are not Oregon Juncos, they are Ringed Turtle-Doves. 

I have not specifically noticed this bird here before, but it is common to our area according to my bird books.  We get the Mourning Dove (yep, spelled m-o-U-r-n-i-n-g) which has spots on its wings and no black ring around the neck.  We also get the far more elusive Band-tailed Pigeon which is really very pretty - not your common rats-with-wings aka pigeons, but a large, shy, lavender/purple colored (although the book says gray/blue-gray) pigeon with a black-tipped yellow beak and a white half-ring on the back of the neck and of course bands on their tails hence the name. 
Ringed Turtle-Dove
When I first saw the Ringed Turtle-Dove, I thought it was the B-T Pigeon, but I've never known them to be on the ground in the backyard and these are smaller.  The pigeons had partied in the tree in the past and hung out on the power lines, but never on the ground.  So when these guys were in the grass pecking at whatever, I grabbed my camera and snapped a number of shots through the very dirty dining room window using my point and shoot with zoom.  I was afraid they'd fly off if I got too close seeing me through the glass.  They do look sweet and peaceful don't they?  I understand that doves are not always so.

And speaking of dining rooms. Yeah, pretty rough transition there.  That has been my focus over the last few days.  This is true confessions time.  For a whole lot of reasons over the last number of years, I have let my housekeeping take a back seat to just about everything else in life.  Some of those reasons included remodel of bathrooms, addition of heating/A-C on the roof with entry to the attic crawlspace through the house when the ductwork was replaced and a variety health problems.  Additionally I had some attitude problems and rebellion, lol.  

The following pictures will give an idea of how hard it is for me to stay focused and on task with the way so much is out of order.  Do you remember those books by Laura Numeroff, If You Give A Mouse A Muffin where the mouse gets one thing, then will want something else and when given that will want yet another thing and eventually the story brings you right back to the mouse wanting a muffin where he started.  That's how house cleaning and chores are for me at the moment, so follow along.
Messy dining room...and some cat toys.
Above is the dining room.  To the left and somewhat behind is the one-butt kitchen without an oven.  The card table is where I had been sewing prior to getting my Sanctuary (quilt room) remodel.  I have removed the card table from the dining room along with the stuff that was on it, and on some of the other surfaces.  That stuff had to go somewhere.  There was stuff that had to go to the recycle barrel.  As I go to the recycle barrel which is in the garage, I continually pass by messy bags holding good handled paper bags.
They are now nice and neatly placed into these milk boxes from Costco - they fit perfectly.  They were not in the dining room, they were in the garage.
These are the messy bags, and some excess bags of varying types that I decluttered directly to the recycle barrel.  The barrel is getting full!  That's a good thing.
And this table, in the living room, I predestined to send to the dining room for my rearrangement project.  Of course, IT had to be cleaned off too.  Yes, there's still a ton of dust in the picture.  Most of that stuff is Nick's gaming platform stuff, or trash.  Who needs those empty boxes for computer components?  Or those plastic packaging items that you need a Skill saw to open.  They headed to the recycle barrel too.  And that purple exercise ball?  The one I bought a year ago to do exercises for my back...that I never's now deflated and placed back in it's box, which had been in the dining room - yeah, go figure - and is now residing in the entry closet, but that may not be where it stays either.  Where does one put exercise equipment they don't use but think they may some day.  I can see the fireplace again, yay!!  Of course, it's way TOO HOT to have a fire and too windy to risk sparks flying up and out of the flue.  Red flag warnings are in effect for the next few January...when it's supposed to be 20 degrees cooler...when it's supposed to rain.
Cat Bathroom
I needed to show this, please excuse the dust - we're dry here, remember?  I was probably putting away some office supplies.  No, no, not in the cupboard but on the upper two shelves that conveniently aren't in the picture.  But what I wanted to show is, as we have no utility room which would be the perfect place to keep the kitties' litter box, and my bathrooms are way too nice to put a litterbox, not to mention pretty small, several years ago, I came up with this idea.  The armoir was a freebie from a family across the street that moved.  Not being in the greatest of shape, smelling like smoke, but quite usable, I had Marty cut a mouse-hole shape at one end, bought a large, high-sided plastic storage tub, cut an opening at one end of it and placed it inside the cupboard.  The doors open easily for cleaning the litterbox, the cats have LOTS of room, and there's some room for storing the scooper, an air freshener, and a little broom, which, ahem, needed to be used on the floor, obviously.  

The blue grate catches most of the litter from the kitty feet, and the container of clean litter is right there too.  Out of the picture at that "southwest" corner is the sliding door to the backyard. The kitties do not go outside, strictly indoor kitties.  While there when I took this picture, I probably scooped the litter box, which then led me back to the garage, where I set the used litter in another bag next to the recycle barrel.  Then I go to the bathroom and scrub my hands.  Clean hands after scooping litter is a must, and I must use the scrub brush.  For no specific reason, that has become nearly obsessive.  I cannot just lightly rinse with a little soap and water.  So once in the bathroom...
I remember the clean towels were still in the dryer, so back to the garage again.
The old-as-dirt dryer.
And my dryer works, which I'm thankful for.  Especially since it's about a year older than my 29-year old microwave oven. I have no clothesline outdoors should it stop working.  Notice there is water on the garage floor to the right of the washing machine.  That's one of "those issues" Marty and I stopped addressing, which bugs me, which I can't do anything about at present. 
The new layout, still lots to be dealt with.
The dining room table now has even more stuff on it. The table was rotated from it's previous orientation which will make it easier to get to the microwave since it's now farther from the one-butt kitchen than it's ever been.  I moved the two bookshelves over to and under the window.  I left the TV & stand pretty close to where it was.  The floors of course had to be swept, where does all the dirt come from? And they had to be mopped - hope that got rid of some of the dust. The 6' long table is against the solid wall.  That microwave oven is much heavier now than it was 29 years ago.  And I know it can't be because I'm 29 years older and not as strong.  I'm sure it's gained weight over the years, just like I have! 
Another angle of new layout.
I also have my bread machine on the long table.  It would be so nice to have home-made bread again.  I don't like using the machine to bake it, but using it to make the dough, priceless!  Watch for a future Toaster Oven Tuesday featuring bread baking...hope it's not a flop.

A plastic green and white plaid table cover was put on the long table.   It has to look better than just the bare table would.  

This was all worked on yesterday, and I did not get to my Sanctuary until after dinner.  There's still lots to do.  I didn't make any progress on it today as I had to do some Walmart grocery shopping, and then put groceries away and realized I had to clean the refrigerator and pantry, and update my inventory list. 

There were a lot more trips up and down stairs returning things at least closer to their "place for everything, and everything in it's place" locations.  It's a long road to travel, and will take time.  I may be cluttered, and dusty, but I don't think I qualify for an episode of Hoarders...but then again, you haven't seen my guest room, or a complete shot of the so-called '3rd' garage.  Three-car garages only hold one car, shelves for camping and sports gear, a workbench, and all the stuff you don't know what to do with when you can't make up your mind if you want to keep it for the day you need it, or to send it to a charitable organization, or whether to have your very first garage sale where you work up the courage knowing you'll have those who will want to haggle over every penny you hope to gain from your valuables you've outgrown or don't like any more.

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