Hey, it’s me! I’m back!


I put myself on lockdown because I was spending entirely too much time zooming around on the internet. WHAT a time suck! Not that I didn’t learn a bunch of totally unnecessary information and watch a bunch of random YouTube, but really. I’m a grown up with grown up projects to get accomplished somewhere besides here in my chair.

And in my really sincere lock down (because I don’t do anything half way), I shut our cable off too. And surprise! We haven’t missed it yet. I do have a DVD/VHS player brand new in the box, just sitting there grumpily but I need to buy a wall mound for the totally unnecessary new flat screen so the cable box and DVD, etc. will fit tidily on top of the mantel. This is the first time in my life I’ve had a television in my bedroom (it’s really the sitting room, but since I can see the television from the bed it’s just like it IS in the bedroom) and I had some deal breaking absolutes about even getting it, because the old tv worked just fine.

  • No hanging wires
  • The channel changer things had to be simple
  • The DVD thingy and cable thingy had to fit on top of the mantel with no hanging wires
  • No visible cables anywhere. At all.

The reason for these non-negotiables? Every single time People magazine does an interview with some celebrity in their homes, there are random wires all over the place. Lamp cords hanging down. TVs with cables and cords all over the place. Sometimes it looks half dusted and even I can see the crappy cleaning job done two seconds before the camera crew shows up. (Not at Tom Cruises home or Diana Ross’s place or Barbra Streisand’s place either. But I am thinking maybe they have some kind of electrical cord staff and dusters).

Off track:

Little known fact about Diana Ross. She rented all that furniture AND THE HOUSE and it was all color coordinated with what she and Barbara Walters was going to wear. It truly one of the prettiest celebrity interviews I ever saw…well, besides Barbra Streisand, who is color  coordinated to the nth degree. That woman studied horticulture and knows all the Latin names of all of her plantings because it was a project she wanted to do.The gardens you can see from each room are color coordinated with the room. Her throw rugs? Replicated in tile so when they are taken off to be cleaned, she has a beautiful tile “throw”. I so admire her eye for detail.  She had a pond dug out and wanted a rowboat because it would look so totally cool. So she got the pond and the custom rowboat and while it looks totally cool, she didn’t like it. Rocked too much. Sounds like something I would do, were I totally loaded with money and wanted to build the house of my dreams. I noticed that Tom Cruise had slippers that everyone wore in Tellerude, too, so they wouldn’t scuff up his floors. These Gazillionsaires live a different life from ours, I tell you and it covers way more than just having someone cleaning your kitchen.

Boy, if it was me being interviewed, I’d be cutting cords right OFF lamps and stuff, rather than having them hanging out. So it is just a personal quirk of mine. I can’t even blame it on HGTV.

So I put myself on lock down and really got some stuff accomplished. Not everything, but close.

I got all of my good dishes washed and put away into my china cupboards—I have two and they look quite nice with the Christmas dishes and crystal in one and the Limoges and Waterford in the other. Nice and sparkly. (“My Limoges!” from Out of Africa. Love that movie).

I got the chandeliers all washed and I gotta say, Candy Spelling had it right when she had her giant light fixtures put on hydraulic lifts so they could be lowered, washed and the hauled back up again. That ladder moving is for the birds.

And as long as I was up on the ladder, I washed all the stained glass. Both sides. Looks nice. Dusted all of the door frames and doors and the baseboards, too. Only mine are 15 inches high, so they truly are mop boards. Scrubbed the steps (32 from the front door to the lobby and they just didn’t look clean enough so I screwed my hose onto one of the bathroom faucets and hosed them down, then hosed down the sidewalk in the front. THAT really looked nice.

Got the veranda partially cleaned up. I need to move one of the antique stoves over to the “entertainment” side, put the freezer where the stove was and then put Mike’s tool cabinet on that side so he can actually make stuff at home instead of always going to the shop. His tool cabinet is my Grandma Marthe’s jelly cabinet, so it was built around 1850 and is all bead board. All of his at home tool will fit in there just fine and he has one of those red Craftsman saw horse things and a vise, so he should be good to go.

I brought home all the linens from the beach (THAT’s where all my ratty towels were!) to wash here because being so close to the water, nothing ever really dries out. So that chore is out of the way. I scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen there, too and next time we go, I have to rent a carpet cleaner because you can see the trail our dirty feet make from the front door to the back. It wouldn’t bother me so much if I couldn’t see it and whoever thought white Berber was going to look great was just plain stupid. However, I see so much of it, somebody had to have been either a great salesman or very cute.

I have a bookcase in my bedroom now. I thought with the bookcases in the library, I would never need another shelf for books as long as I live. Wrong. I have cherry ones in the guest room, another one just outside the back guest room, one in the bedroom, two in the kitchen (TWO! What was I thinking?) and then a big one in my sewing room. So I am in the donating mode, it’s just that not every nursing home is tickled for me to show up with ten giant bags of books, so I have to sort of spread the wealth. I had one bag in a giant Target bag and left it right in front of my door and when I came back, it was gone! So as I winnow thru my books, I box up the ones I am NEVER going to read again (Angle of Repose, for one), leave it on the stoop and people will pick and chose and within a day, they have something to read, I have space on my shelves and my give-away box is empty.

So today, I’m rearranging the bookcase in my bedroom. I have some pretty decorative boxes where I keep my yarn stash and they look nice, alone with pictures of my kids. Then I can put my perfume and jewelry tray on my night stand, like civilized people do. (As opposed to just dumping everything in a bowl on a shelf). Then I’m moving my red wing chair into the guest bathroom and my wing chair (needs to be recovered) into my bathroom. Mike found a couple of Eastlake gliders for in here. The good thing is that they are really lovely to look at. The bad thing is they don’t lend themselves to hiding piles of stuff jammed on both sides and behind them.

So once I get stuff all moved around, BOTH night stands get oiled—they were made in 1825 and I thought they were exactly the same. WRONG. One had four drawers and the other had three. The pulls are hand carved with fruit but they are the same height. I’m very picky about what the appropriate stuff on the tops of nights stands. It is not a dumping ground. (Another deal killer).

I bought a window air conditioner because this entire place is impossible to heat and cool. In the winter, you just put another sweater on, another pair of socks and light the fire. In the summer, there is just no way to stay cool and the unit I bought isn’t big enough, so it is going into the guest suite and we are getting a bigger one. It is not unusual for the temperature drop to oh, 105 at night….which means it is much hotter during the day. Sort of like Hell. And with the cooling bill so high, I have turned into the light meter maid and if someone walks out of a room, leaving a light on, it’s a dollar. (I love the way we say “someone did this” or “Somebody did that” when there are only three people here and I know it wasn’t me.

My dishwasher is on the blinkette….it will either get the water hot but won’t spray or it will spray cold water. So I took it apart, soaked parts in vinegar, put it back together and am now waiting for the repair guy to come by. He’s bringing an upper and lower rack, since mine have a serious case  of rusting spikes. The RG said if you have teenagers, that will happen.

Well, back to putting my sewing and knitting books away. Mike doesn’t know why on earth I need so many shelves OR why different books need to be located in different rooms. Evidently, he hasn’t spent an entire morning looking for just one thing.

Found a Eastlake settee and chair at a YARD sale–$25. They were reupholstered in 1968 and evidently no one was allowed to sit on them. So they are immaculate. They will go in the dining room, in front of the window and the little serving table will have my silver tea set on it. (We drink tea by the bucket around here, but it does look so refined to have a little tea corner for when, oh, Queen Elizabeth drops by if I’m in town and receiving company. I bet she likes those little sandwiches cut out into fancy shapes. I use my little alphabet cutters so you can spell out words. It’s a hoot. )

Well, it’s back to the ladder and moving books around. Mike thinks I should wait until I get around to painting all the shelves but I’ll be ninety by then.  I think getting everything moved will give somebody besides me the push he needs to do the painting.

Oh, I got a giant cage for my doves (I love the sound of doves on the veranda) and planted two Mandarin oranges trees in pots (need saucers and those rolling things). I have about a dozen pots AND the bags of dirt, just haven’t gotten around to planting anything more than tomatoes and basil. So that is a little jaunt out to the garden shop this weekend. I planted teeny sweet cherry tomatoes called “Ladybugs”. Not sure if I like them quite yet. But they are tiny and very cute. And I have one of every kind of basil I could find. I have two big pots…one for a pothos and one for mint because I like the way it smells.

Oh, one of the totally useless things I learned this week? What are the ten WORST hospitals in the country…you know, the one you go into and come out dead?  #10 is the new LOCAL hospital just down the street. Maybe that’s why you can always find a parking place and the ER is pretty fast. Everybody is DEAD. I was there on Saturday (wonderful care) and again on Sunday. I have a chronic health problem that is outlined in their computer—what the diagnosis is, what drugs I take, how they are delivered (IV), how much oxygen I need in a rebreather mask. Everything.

But on Sunday, evidently Nurse Ratchet was in charge and no, she wasn’t giving me oxygen because my room was full of oxygen. And no Diladid for me because she wasn’t fond of that particular drug and wasn’t in the mood to discuss my options. Turidol she could give me (Turidol is bad for your kidneys and I try to stay away from that. It’s an anti-inflammatory and often necessary but I keep a real close watch on how much I take in any one week. She wasn’t interested.) and then I got a single Zoloft pill (anti puke) and although I usually get one immediately and then one for the road, she felt that was over medicating. So what did I get? Bena fucking dryl.  I KNOW where I can get Benydryl and it starts with a Wal and ends with a Mart and no one treats me like I’m some kind of nut. SO after thinking up ways I could get my head under some kind of control and stop crying and puking, I called Patient relations (Kelly Lopez and I told her she needed to start using a fake name like Britney Spears just so she wouldn’t be at the bottom of the hill when it all started rolling downhill. Then I called my insurance company and told them not to pay that particular bill, since the care I got was equal to that of the Hutus during their civil war and then I wrote a letter to the CEO.  And while I was at it, I wrote a letter to Barack Obama and another one to Mrs. O.

And what’s this with Steven Tyler leaving American Idol and going back to touring? Have you seen his FEET? He isn’t going to be able to tour unless he’s in a wheelchair. Or he is planning on using a lot of drugs. The years have not been kind to him and he really is a classically trained musician. Unlike the Rolling Stones who have been performing and looking dead for the last FIFTY YEARS.  Just goes to show, lots of money and lots of drugs don’t do a lot for your looks. Even Ozzy Osbourne looks better than that bunch. But he is genius of a lyricist and writer more than a performer, even back in the day. He just has a romantic turn of phrase  and that is where his money came from. His stuff just knocks me out. You look at him and think…..well, I think pretty much over the hill rocker boy, but his lyrics are so moving and lovely. There is someone very poignant living inside him.

So off I go, fiddle faddling around. I might even mop the floors today….and that is my least favorite chore on the planet. I’d rather be married to Tom Cruise than do floors. Heck, I’d rather do toilets than be married to Tom Cruise.  With a toothbrush. Listening to Sid Vicious.

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