Archive for March, 2009

In the Eye of the Beholder

If there is one thing I love about both Urban and Rural areas it is the abandoned buildings, very old buildings. These buildings catch my attention and I find them beautiful, architecturally pleasing and yet haunting.

Tom Kirsch is one photographer whose website “Opacity” – I stumbled upon back a few years ago – mesmerized me. I could spend hours going through photo after photo, reading where these places were, their history and study each and every one of them. Mr. Kirsch’s photos stir my emotions and imagination. What would the walls of this building say if they could talk? Imagine the activity during the 1940’s when these buildings were filled with people. The remains of buildings near and far that once produced and sustained so much and so many. So many thoughts run through my head as I gaze upon these works of art through Mr. Kirsch’s lens.

I think this man’s passion is what sharpened my interest in old buildings, I look at them differently now than I did before.

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Move over Betty Crocker

Ask me if I have accomplished anything this weekend. I confess, I haven’t done not one thing on “the list”. The Husband and I went out for dinner Friday night, Saturday night and I cooked on Sunday.

I’ve been in a food rut. I believe it is due to the fact that I want fresh veggies, home grown, not some box produce from far away lands – the good stuff. I want peaches, plums and other goodness that we here up in the north gorge ourselves with when it comes into season.

With all these crazy cravings I had to settle on Stuffed Peppers. Not your run-of-the-mill stuffed peppers but stuffed peppers with a twist. I found this recipe at Kat in the Kitchen and added my own special touches:
I omitted her spices, but added
1/4 lb of Italian sausage,
Middle Eastern Rice, and
1/4 cup of Dried Cranberry’s.

It was beautiful, flavorful and very filling.

Here Kitty, Kitty

We didn’t sign up for this but somehow things just come to you.

For some people this is a very touchy subject and I will apologize right now. If you live in an urban area it is a huge problem.

We have a feral colony that we care for, somehow the cats have always felt that our yard is their oasis. They were here before we were. To be honest we have gone above and beyond to make sure the dogs and the cat’s paths do not cross and when they do, nobody gets hurt. It has worked really well and because of this we have been privileged views into a life that so few have ever witnessed.

Continue reading ‘Here Kitty, Kitty’

A New Vocabulary Word

There are so many things to talk about, where do I begin? The highlight of my day is when the husband informed me that the FBI had questioned the head of our community development department for our dysfunctional city. I did a happy dance, I was elated that this had occurred; I have no shame in admitting that I wish the asshole would be taken down already. So, it was a good day.

Sunday the front porch had a date with a mason. It needed to be re-pointed on the top row where the mortar cracked and shifted due to huge weather change when it was done 4 years ago. The porch is happy and so we are happy, another item crossed off the list of things to do.

As you have noticed I have yet to talk about the front yard. Why? It is an embarrassment! After the rebuilding of the basement walls we hired a lawn guy to come in and remove nasty clay soil, rock and other fragments of things that did not belong in soil and put in a new lawn. The husband and I figured we would deal with landscaping the following year. Well – a few more floods, one crap trap later that went terribly wrong in more ways than one and we were promised a new lawn from the city. Remember the contractors ended up digging up our entire front yard to find the sewer line because the idea of using the sewer camera never entered their feeble little minds.

Well – here is a new word for your vocabulary: Continue reading ‘A New Vocabulary Word’

Do you grow your own food?

The husband and I grow a vast variety of different types of food in our garden just like generations of my family have for years and probably yours as well. We do not sell it, we give extra food away when we have too much. We use no pesticides, we are all about organic growing.

As I was going through my blog roll, which I do almost every day I ran across this post from This Reluctant Soil in Dayton, Ohio.

Now I’m pissed.

Ode to the Sump Pumps

I was going to go to a council meeting tonight and listen to the lame dialogue, this would be lack of dialogue, between Administration and Council about our city budget. I am tired and really not in the mood to be bored to death when it should be a rather exciting meeting when your city is facing huge deficit.

I then thought that I would tell you about our flooring adventure. It occurred to me that it would be more fitting to write a thank you letter to my sump pumps.

Dear Sump Pumps,

Thank you for working nonstop from late Saturday night well into late Sunday night, early Monday morning.

Sump number 1 you never stopped to even take a break until 11:00 pm when you only shut off for about 30 seconds. How did you not burn out amazes me.

Sump number 2, without your assistance the basement would have flooded as you kept the water from cresting. Suspended over your companion sump number 1. you were cycling every 3 minutes.

What both of you could not see was that the neighbors yard was 80% underwater. The neighbors driveway and the side yard by where you both are located was under 2 inches of water. This is why the drain tiles were overwhelmed and you both had to work so hard yesterday.

The husband and I cannot even begin to express the gratitude that we feel for you both.

Neighbors back yard. I should mention this is a rental property and the renter was flooded out – again.

I think the husband and I are going to have a talk with Mr Landlord about the water problem. This water needs to be diverted from the side yard. Our sumps were pumping all the water that was infiltrating the drain tiles from neighbors yard. This makes me kinda angry because Mr Landlord has no sump and surely is not going to pay for our sumps when they burn out.

Fast Forward – Inside the House

The kitchen is still 3 years later in shambles, why? That would be due to the fact that custom cabinet maker never delivered the goods. The goods were very simple: 1 bottom cabinet to be custom fitted for apron front sink (still sitting in the box), 1 custom full cabinet to go over refrigerator, 3 shelves and a piece to pull it all together all made of white oak. We are still waiting; actually we are looking for new cabinet guy – for some strange reason we just don’t trust the bastards.

During our adventures with the “crap trap” issues in 2007 there is nothing like releasing all that anger on a couple of walls. It has always been the intent to open the 1st floor of this house up. The space needed to be reinvented.

Husband’s kin folk squished 5 rooms into 624 sq. ft. it was like living in a cave with many caves in it. This house had no cross ventilation, it was dark and the floor plan made no sense.

Continue reading ‘Fast Forward – Inside the House’


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