Archive for the ‘94 Days of Summer’ Category

Slather Up


Day Two: every 80 minutes if you know what’s good for you. 

Apparently, we should be using this stuff every day, no matter the weather. Day two of summer seems like a good reminder to slather up now that the sun is around. And, even if the sun isn’t.


Pale Looper


She slipped through the hole,
Unbeknownst to us.
The torn screen door banging against its frame.
A pale looper caught up in a breeze not quite summer, but harbinger just the same.

Dressed in dusty layers too fragile to touch,
Not that we would, we cannot see her,
But we can sense the change.
The air is sweeter.


Welcome to Summer. Did you sense a change in your part of the world?

Photo: Campaea perlata  “Pale Beauty” on my porch ceiling.

Oh Hai

What is it, day Sixty-three? I’m throwing in the towel. This cup? This was left, ON MY PIANO (which is in my dining room, and not in the scope of construction), weeks ago by someone in the construction crew. I keep waiting for someone (other than ME) to notice it and do something about it. And the dust build-up is because, despite being told it would happen, nothing was tarped off before they gutted my kitchen.  It’s clearly time for some Pickle Jars.

Oh Hai!

Remember me? I blog here? Or not. I’m throwing in the towel counting my summer days. It’s pointless and depressing. I’ve fallen into a pattern to survive hotel life, but it’s not creative. It’s more of a “lather, rinse, repeat” endeavor.

Progress on the house is achingly slow. Song and dance, people. That’s what we’ve been getting for weeks. IZ is meeting with our contractor in about an hour and all I can say is that it’s probably a very good thing it’s not ME meeting with him. I was outlining dead bodies on my kitchen floor weeks ago, you can imagine that I’m well past being diplomatic.

It’s beyond me. I know I run my own “business” differently. Customer service (and managing expectations) is a high priority for me, and I’ll confess I get a bit “Judgey” when I bump into poor customer service models. However, I don’t think I’m being completely a diva here—it’s been 7 weeks since the first insurance inspector walked through my door with the contractor and STILL there is no operating budget. And meanwhile, nearly every person (save the two guys who demolished my bathroom, they were AWESOME!) who has worked in my home in the past 2 months have treated it like a trash heap. You think I’m kidding? Um… how about this:

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Day Fifty-six: Overtime

Day Fifty-six: Diet Coke putting in over-time as both my muse and panacea.

Day Fifty-three: Aromatherapy

Day Fifty-three: Aromatherapy.

Thank goodness for Mireio. It’s been hard to be productive and get product shots (or product made!) in the middle of a distasterpiece. I’m seriously pouring candles and dyeing slips in what was my packaging station in the studio. However, when I have accomplished it, it’s been soothing. Guess it’s a good thing I make things that allow you to “breathe deeply.”

All day, I’ve been working with this new candle—the fragrance is crisp blackberry mingled with oakmoss, juniper, and bayberry. It’s heavenly and just what my frazzled nerves need. I cannot look at the kitchen (and up all the way into the rafters because there is no ceiling/floor at the moment) without feeling like I might cry. The layer of dust on EVERYTHING is starting to create that abandoned tomb esthetic. Oh, and then there’s the claims adjuster (Presently on Santa’s “Coal” list) who didn’t bother to send us the grocery reimbursement this week. OOPS, he forgot.

Really? Professional much?

Breathe, breathe.

I’m trying people, I’m trying.

Day Forty-eight: A Week Down

Day Forty-eight: Has it really been a week already?

My week has flown by. We’re feeling so much better in a larger space. But the days just meld together—it’s a continual stream of logistics. Up to stagger breakfast (since Sophie can’t be left alone in the room.) Then off for a morning walk. Back to the hotel for a quick cuppa and then up to the house with Sophie to work for most of the day. Leave Sophie at the house around 4 to meet the boys back at the hotel for dinner. Squeeze in a walk after dinner (assuming we don’t walk TO dinner) and then back to the house to pick up the dog.  Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

It makes for a very choppy day, especially when you get to one place or the other only to realize you forgot something. Oy.

And our one month stay has quickly become two. I’m hopeful that will be the end of it. It all depends on how quickly our insurance can get around to issuing checks (and if they have to go through our bank, or can directly issue the checks to us. If they go through the bank, well… it’s Bank of America. Need I say more?)

As of this moment, the scope of work includes: (please keep in mind, this all started with a bathroom floor)

Electrical: Removal of all the knob and tube electrical. Apparently, the electrical upgrade we were told happened about 10 years ago, was a “cosmetic” upgrade. When you dig into the walls, it’s clear that only the places that would be checked were upgraded, everything still ties into the old knob and tube. Frankly, we were a house fire waiting to happen and are very fortunate to have escaped it. So the entire house will have be brought up to code in order for it pass inspection and for us to be able to move back in.

Plaster: Our home is lathe and plaster (JOY) and so everything that gets damaged in the rewiring will have to be replaced. Presently, that’s the bathroom and the kitchen–and will probably mean assorted walls and ceilings as the electrical is upgraded.

Bathroom: It’s an entire gut. Everything has been stripped at this point. There isn’t even a floor. It will all need to be replaced.

Kitchen: It’s not quite a gut, but the flooring, walls, ceiling, and cabinetry will have to be replaced.

Plumbing: Um.. yeah, it’s looking like everything will have to be brought up to code. It’s a central plumbing situation, so one repair means it ALL has to be repaired.

Structural supports: When the bathroom was renovated 10 years ago, and plumbing was put in for a shower, all sorts of “short-cuts” were taken, putting the structural integrity of some portions of the house at risk. One wall isn’t supported and will need to be remediated before construction can commence.

<wende putting on her angry eyes> Whoever did this work. . . a POX on you and yours. The very idea anyone would put their OWN family at risk, doing home repair work just boggles my little brain. Doing a half-assed job tiling a bathroom because you watched some show on HGTV and think you’ve got the mojo to fake it, I get. Doing a home installation of plumbing that cuts into support beams in an illegal DIY job… insanity. You know who you are, and you should be ashamed. </angry eyes>


So that’s where we are. Or where we’re not. I suppose it depends on how full your glass is.

Day Forty-one: New Digs

Day Forty-one: New Digs. These aren’t the most artistic shots, but my muse took one look at the state of our house and booked a ticket to Boca for the next month. Shameless hussy.

I’m breathing a bit better now. The new suite has one real bedroom, a living area, and another sleeping alcove. No kitchen, but with the wet bar we’ve moved in our espresso machine and Zojirushi. No more drinking yucky hotel coffee in the morning. THAT alone should improve our living conditions.

We’ll still be eating out (or take-out) for most meals, but we’re figuring out how to do that with least amount of stress. We’re not allowed to leave the dog unattended, so we’re tag teaming breakfast and then dropping Sophie off at the house while we eat dinner. She seems OK with that, happy to be back in her home.

IZ brought over his big computer so he can work. I think this might be the biggest complication for us. Since we both work from home, it means a lot of trips to the house and trying to juggle working from a distance. I’m sure we’ll figure out a rhythm eventually. In fact, IZ’s computer is set up just behind the chair I’m working in presently, and he just reached out and gave me a mini head massage. So, it’s not ALL bad. Plus, IZ and I have a beautiful king sized bed with a view of the river and bridge. Tres romantic. Not that I can think that way right now, but give me time, people.

On the down side, the damage. Oh. My.

I think I’ll put up the final list on Tuesday once the adjuster comes back out to reinspect the current scope of the work. But let’s just say, we’re very fortunate to never have had a fire!

Ok, off to dinner. I think I’ll be back tomorrow with a post on how to make a Hotel your Home.


Day Thirty-nine: Hotel Life

Day Thirty-nine: A view from our window.

I wish I could say that it was good news. That I’m hanging in a hotel enjoying a sunset on the river, just because.  But, we’ve been displaced courtesy of the construction going on out our little house. Right now, due to insurance/bank red tape, it’s looking like we’ll be living the Hotel life for at least 4 weeks. That’s the BEST case scenario. I can’t even wrap my head around  eating out for a month, much less managing the hotel’s requirement that we never leave Sophie unattended.

Presently, we’re hanging out in a hotel room with 2 double beds. But, on Sunday we’ll be upgraded to a suite with rooms and larger beds. Our son, ever the optimist, keeps reminding us of the “bright-sides” of our current predicament. I’m thankful for a child who can see past the destruction and displacement, because after spending the day packing my kitchen and watching my house implode on itself I’m not feeling so optimistic.

So, stay tuned. I’m pretty sure there are stories coming your way.

Day Thirty-seven: What Electricity?

Day Thirty-seven: Sharing space with IZ because the contractor had to cut the electricity on the 3rd floor. Look at him, hard at work.

Day Thirty-one: Beat the Heat

Day Thirty-one: Tropical Raspberry Fizzy—a great way to beat the heat.

It’s hardly warm out here on the coast of Oregon. July is wearing its usual ensemble of mist and patchy fog. But the rest of the country is experiencing waves of the warm stuff—sometimes at stultifying heights. For those of you trying to beat the heat, here’s my favorite fizzy drink concoction. And for those of you still waiting for summer to arrive, it’s a tasty (low-cal) way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C!

Tropical Raspberry Fizzy

Mix 1 package of Tropical Emergen-C and 1 package of Raspberry Emergen-C with 14 oz of water. Mix. Add 1/2 -1 single serve package of Truvia and then fill with ice. Stir until chilled. Enjoy! (50 calories, 2000 mg of Vitamin C)

I buy Emergen-c at Costco, which has the best price. It’s really expensive in a regular store. If you haven’t tried it before and want to test it first, Emergen-c will send you free samples! You’ll have to wait a few weeks, but I’ve got a feeling the heat isn’t going anywhere soon.

As for the Truvia, it’s a stevia product. Any will work, it’s just the only one IZ actually likes. What I like about Truvia is it is dental neutral and is considered diabetic friendly. Another alternative (but far more spendy) is Xylitol. It’s actually dental positive—dentists recommend taking it if you have poor enamel, as it helps fight cavities. Sweet! And of course, you can always drink it without a sweetener. It’s a bit tart, but very refreshing on a hot, hot day.

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