Friday, September 26, 2014

I can't tell you...

how many times I've started a post that has not come to fruition this past year.

It's been truly frustrating, as I've had some wonderful adventures, but this particular project has

overwhelmed me...


I'm forging ahead with this post….also started many times

Before I get swept away again.

A year has passed since I bought this homely* townhouse

*(most houses are little brown boxes in Albuquerque and this one is no exception)

and embarked upon a top to bottom renovation that involved much more work than I bargained for.

As this little house seemed OK for my purpose,

(small, easy to care for, in a safe, quiet neighborhood, and near my tree….)

my eye went to every crack, dirty nick and bit of dust that bore witness to the last 22 years of tenants

and their (hideous to me) paint colors hidden under crusty switch plates ….

So I set out to change out every part of this house that brought me any measure of unease

and that meant among other things

turning a bedroom closet door around

 so it swung into the room instead of into the closet


changing other closet doors

so they became double 'swing into the room' doors

instead of the heavy sliding doors they were.

I tore out the old built in closet systems and replaced them with

new ones

(using the 'not so' system)

I had a new glass door installed to replace a solid door in my little attached garage to let in light and changed out the garage door for a new insulated model.  With the help of my wonderful retired electrician (Ray) we installed a garage heater and a string of new outlets in addition to moving the ceiling fan from the living room to the garage.
All that in anticipation of turning the garage into a studio.
(pics to come as that project moves forward.)

I changed out every hinge and door latch

 on every door from painted over brass hinges to

 new 'aged bronze' models

and with Ray's help, we changed out all of the electrical outlets and switches and old cheap builder's grade mismatched light fixtures to new ones.
We also recreated a new lighting system for the kitchen and added outlets where there were none.

I re-worked the cabinets in the bathroom with stain, and some in the laundry area with paint and painted the entire house inside and out walls and molding and doors.
(Suddenly Angels appeared to paint the outside….otherwise that would not have happened!)

 I took down the existing upper cabinets in the kitchen (and light fixtures!)

(note the only light in the kitchen is the fluorescent  fixture hanging from the ceiling)

had the upper cabinets replaced with new (stock unfinished) ones that reached higher to the ceiling

(Thank you Jeff for your expert installation.) 

and I painted all of them and the existing cabinets and doors.

Of course I'm sparing you of the interim photos!


OK, no I'm not. 

This was an amazingly difficult job, due to the many issues that cropped up due to the various conditions of the cabinets to be painted.

 I also added cabinets to the two bathrooms and finished them with stain and paint.

Of course they all got

New Knobs!
(and hinges and glides)


 I figured out how to install under cabinet lighting in the kitchen with new fangled LED lighting.

Then as I realized I still did not have enough storage, I bought some
inexpensive oak cabinets on line

 and refinished them

then had them installed……

with a configuration like this in mind….

(and not the $2,100 price tag Home Depot quoted me!)

Next I had the existing powder room sink cabinet refinished because I ran out of steam.

And most recently, I decided to replace the front storm door and when I took the old one down,

I realized the paint was peeling from the door frame……

and had to remove that with a heat gun and prime and paint it….and while I was there I repaired,

primed and painted the porch ceiling.

I installed a new front door lockset and house numbers...

Oh, and I always forget, I had all the windows replaced with new ones.

and replaced most of the window blinds

with new ones...

and then there was that new swamp cooler I got because pigeons were nesting in the old one.

and that list goes on and on…..

I have more to do of course, a patio and block wall, new landscaping….and want to spiff up the studio/garage floor, install the vanity countertop, and have a new railing made for the stairway….

but right now

I'm busy moving my studio again….

and unpacking boxes I've had in storage for three years


How many times can I do that?


I can't tell you

how many times…

but the one thing I want to say throughout this renovation, that I did it pretty much myself….

for reasons of thrift and convenience


because most times calling in help does not satisfy when one knows one can do the work

at least as well and many times better

than the 'guys' she's been conditioned to rely on…

Yes, the one thing I wanted to say, was that I never really felt like I 'knew' what I was doing

or up against

until I got into it.

Like flipping the door around.

I was sure the $50 an hour handyman 'guy' I consulted could grasp that concept and all he did was complain & say how much simpler it would be to buy a new door in a frame (and discard the old perfectly good one!?)

So what happened throughout this renovation, was that I put my face into each project, took one step at a time, weighed my options, did the research, drew on my past experience, complained a bit,

coveted my tools,

and my support system

and trusted


I could do this.

And when all else failed, some miracle happened, and I lost track of all time and space, and was guided to the finish.

There were times I was sure I couldn't complete a task……and suddenly the solution appeared….my brain functioned, or a heavy cabinet became not so heavy.

 I feel so blessed to have had the time, the means and the opportunity to carve out this little space for myself and thank those parts of me that kept the faith that we (my guides and me)
could make this work.

Same little brown box
a work in progress.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

dissing Pinterest….

OK. Get grounded.

This is going to be a rant.

I've been busy.  Really busy. And wanting and meaning and actually attempting to blog and comment on other's blogs.

only to be stymied by some technical glitches...

slow computer due to too many photos….and general lagging behind in technology syndrome due to being, well...

And I've been OK with that.
and dismissed my failed efforts with the all too familiar….
"well I guess it's not meant to BE" 

And I've been planning a post
filled with accolades


this image


(my work, actually)

originally posted


has been viewed

on this blog

(It's hard to tell how many times it's been pinned.)


that it HAS been pinned
has been a source of


This is because, when I check my stats, I'm connected to the most




Pinterest sites….

And that was what I was going to blog about….

the AMAZING people (mostly women)
 who seem to have so much in common with


specifically their

and now for some reason



locked me out of viewing them

unless I join the ranks


open an account.

Although I can't blame them.




Particularly since my image still can be Pinned without my permission.

Which never bothered me before because I could look at where my image was being freely pinned…..

and now

I can't.



not really interested in social media because I'm enjoying my secluded

somewhat anonymous