Thursday, June 25, 2009

As Promised.....Floor Product Review

And the product is.....ta da.....Rejuvenate....Floor Restorer and Protectant.

To refresh your floor is a mess. Quite frankly it needs professional help. A radiator burst this winter and since the room was being used for storage water did seep beneath some of the boxes. Water stains are the worst. They are black and ugly. The floor boards also took a beating....a little uneven here and there.

The rest of the room is passable. Not great. This is where this product did its stuff. It is a room that is a pass through. We all pass through to reach the kitchen. That includes the family, cats,dogs whomever, and whatever. It sees daily traffic. I think it did a fair job on this area. I'll bet money that if your floors are maintained a bit better than mine it would do a terrific job.

I mentioned that if this concoction didn't work a miracle I would paint the floor. I had a white with a wide gray stripe in mind.( one wall is gray) I deferred to Bob in this matter....Painted floors do not sell houses. Ok Bob, I guess we'll just put a rug over it.

I have one, in fact, lying in the barn. Hopefully it will not have damage from whatever lives out there and I can use that. Its a rather rustic looking thing. A rag rug of sorts, lots of wool threads along with muted colored fabrics. Now I'm really hoping that it is still in tact.

That will have to work. It is the appropriate size, and coloring. Remember this is decorating on a budget of next to nothing, not including labor. That's always the stickler anyway.

Tomorrow I will be moving the furniture back in. Yes, I'm still waiting for that gateleg table...a very sore subject around here. The fireplace surround that I spotted from the highway..was a dud. Too damaged. Too much work to restore. And not a real restoration candidate.

Now I can actually take a pic. I bought a new camera. I'm still a beginner but will give it my beat shot.

Why is it that when you paint one room the rest of the house is a mess. Now I'm sure I told you this is a smallish room. It did hold storage type stuff. It is scattered throughout the whole downstairs. Makes it hard to get around. The cats are absolutely frantic with the mess. The dogs give the boxes a once over and their curiosity is satisfied.

Tomorrow, tomorrow I just can't wait. Hope your summer is cool. RD

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Take another look.

As I was reading one of many blogs that I either subscribe to or have sent to me by RSS feed or email I came across this one. I have been following her for a very long time. She intersperses her delicious looking culinary offerings along with some down-home philosophy.

Last nite it was a review of a book that she liked Victoria Moran's Living a Charmed Life.

With my usual skepticism in tact, and the lateness of the hour I wasn't going to give this new author a read. Like "Oh, yeah" popped into my mind, "right" we all want that.

Much to my surprise this young woman made some very valid points: 1. See life as an adventure,2Make a mark.3)Take Risks 4)Be Disciplined 5). Become a Seeker 6) Live in the Biggest Possible World 7)Care Profoundly 8)Listen to My Instincts9)Appreciate Everything. 10) Be in This for the Long Haul.

This sounds good. How many of these can you honestly delete and tell yourself you've done that, been there. I came to the conclusion, I wish I had had this kind of HOW TO years ago. I could have perhaps saved myself, and others and been more keenly observant and done something differently.

What comes to mind (you knew this was coming). My past ten years here on the Eastern Shore.I've wasted them, I don't think I have learned that much, I've been too busy running things down and generally being miserable. Whose fault is're looking at her.

Now I have had a sort of epiphany....hey, girl, you are here, make the best of it. I'm not talking "settle", I don't think I have a "settle" bone in my body. But if you want a livable house...make it so. This is my first step. I embrace my new found neighbor, the eggman. I'm giving back. I'm trying to become part of a community that has previously made it clear they are not interested in getting to know me.

The list goes on. I'm pleased to say I feel much better about myself. Take yesterday for example. I never shop here, but needed to go to Dollar General. Before, I never so much as received a glance or hiya. THREE people asked me for directions....3 more than have spoken to me in the ten years I have been here. That is progress. I guess I must look more approachable? Could that be it?

Hope your day is filled with adventure, seeing is believing. Make it grand. RD

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just Thoughts for Today.

I like to think that my house is my palette. I can do with whatever I want. I can change it at will. Something looks out of place...move it.

I have dabbled in actual painting in my life. Mostly on refinished, painted furniture. Now if I were to be generous I would call it 'primitive' or ' rustic'. It may ,in fact, have a category all its own. Known to some as just plain bad.

This self-examination of just how far I will go came about yesterday. Our fireplaces are boarded up. We don't have one of those catchers on top,plus we have curious cats. We don't use the fireplaces anyway, they tend to give us asthma. Soooo, I was asked to paint something on the cover boards.

I actually had something spring to mind, I searched it out. Voila I found it. I think I need to be in a more creative mood to pull this off. It is a good idea though. What do you think?

I went to the library this morning. On our way I spotted the fireplace surround I had mentioned a while back to use in my 'keeping room'. Now I thought this thing would have been long gone...nope, looks weather beaten enough to pass for free. I'm talking that it has been out there for years. Its been moved of course and is covered with new weed growth.Leaning precariously against a telephone pole. I just figure...I was meant to see this thing. Now I must convince Bob to take me there to examine it. Wish me luck.

My back is still a bother. But as usual we women carry on no matter what. I'm just about to move some boxes out of the newly painted room with a dolly and get going on the first few steps of the floor restoration.

By the way, just picked up a new biography of Flannery O'Connor by Brad Gooch. Its one of those must read fast selections, seven days and that's it. Will let you know how I like it. Suns out....wear a hat! RD

Friday, June 19, 2009


I want to work but I have a strange, from out of the blue backache. You know at my age you don't have to do much and there it is. At any rate I tried to get somethings done. Here goes....

My new glasses are just plain lousy. My daughter refreshed my memory that the last pair made me feel dizzy as well until they were adjusted. This time..without further ado...they make me so unsteady that its best that I'm not painting....anything! So, we'll drive the 120mi and get them adjusted.

My floor Restore Kit arrived today. Yea!Bob talked me out of the neat paint job I was planning. He told me in no uncertain terms....painted wood floors do not sell houses. No matter how clever I thought they might be. Reluctantly, I had to agree. We've got all wood floors, the upstairs is a bit shabbier than the downstairs, but buyers want to see that wood.

So, instead I will try one of these on-line purchases of floor restore kits. Again lots of steps, but hey, the paint job would have been as well. I'll let you know how this product works...if it lives up to all the hype. No...not from Billy Mays..

I've managed to paint the switch plates in the 'keeping room'. No great feat...but I must tell you...its been hours and it still hasn't dried. So you see, when I say that it is humid, it is humid. That is why I did not tackle the painted wallpaper project...Switch plates are fine but the will have to wait for another day.

I'm thrilled to tell you I have been invited to another open house at Massawoman Farms. It will be held this Sunday, weather permitting. I'm anxious to see what they have. They did mention in their email that a new crop of potatoes is ready. Plus they have quite a few varieties of herbs available.

This is Shore Life...always something to do. Somewhere to go. I like that very much. I just wish they had the veritable bonanza yard sales they had in Arizona. Honestly, Friday was such an exciting day....where to go and what you would find.Bob is happy and well, I guess that matters.

More Shore tomorrow. Keep safe. RD

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Doing the Unthinkable

Well, it really isn't that dramatic. I'm prepping the foyer for 'paint over wallpaper'.

I have been mulling this around for years actually. Strip or paint over. Of course there are arguments both pro and con, all reasonable, but in my opinion I've got the wallpaper that simply won't come off without ruining the wall.

We put the paper up ten years ago. Well, actually Bob put it up. It is stuck for life. Yes, the walls were sized, the seams flawless but it is wearing on my nerves. Why, because this particular area is too dark.

On the other hand I may just want to do this to prove that it can be done. I read a pros opinion and he says that by following all the many steps to the letter you will have a professional looking result. That sure beats all the gloom and doom guys. I'm going into this with that attitude...positive...and you will see the results.

Believe me..when he said it is alot of steps,there are alot of steps. Including my favorite product Bin. This will again be a stinky sticky project. It will also include spackling the seams, sanding them. Of course the initial step will be to sponge the walls down.

This has been of concern to me. It is so humid...will they dry? This is a summer project since we need ventilation for the stinky part. I'm doing the test strip today...that will tell the whole tale.

I'm not unfamiliar with stripping....lordy, I did it to an upstairs bedroom, for an entire summer. The pieces came off in dime sized portions. No, I will not do that again. Another motivation for painting don't you agree?

More Shore tomorrow. Smile at will both feel better. RD⊂=104&cont=565

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A New Pizza Place

Anything new on the Eastern Shore is a cause for celebration. We received the mailer on Friday. By Saturday we had placed an order.

The pizza was not that bad. The crust needed a little tweaking. The sauce tasted homemade. Bountiful application of cheeses. What can I say peperoni is peperoni.

Having said that ... I am astounded at the menu. Didn't this guy watch Gordon Ramsey? Keep it simple, use local produce, and a select few items done superbly.

What came in the mail and is the restaurant's menu was the size of a booklet. How can anyone have all of these items 'fresh'. Can't be done. Must be alot of frozen on there. Perhaps even prepared by microwave. Uggh.

I will repeat that the pizza wasn't bad, but the other two hundred items may take some doing. I want this family to succeed. That is a rare thing here. His only competition is Pizza Hut...which on occasion can be a great filler for "I don"t want to cook nite".

Businesses are closing by the handful at this moment. Gosh, I've been waiting for Kathy's Kitchen to open for a year. The New Jersey couple with their pizza creations closed almost two years ago, and now is a mexican hangout.

The New Jersey pizza place was right in my little town. We were thrilled to have this alternative to the Lunch Box. Alright the pizza was covered with Vidalia onions that you couldn't tell if there was an ounce of sauce or toppings underneath. By the second time we onions please, to deaf ears. That was the end of our own little pizza parlor.

The Lunch Box....puleeze...overpriced fast food that required a healthy dose of Pepto Bismal before and after eating. Thankfully, it too closed its doors this year. Want to buy an overpriced free standing restaurant/dwelling in the town of Parksley?

So it is easy to see why my family cheers on the newcomer. He will soon learn the ways of the Eastern Shore citizens. Cut his menu, make a better crust cut out all the freebies. This guy is appealing to all in uniform except the dog catcher...10% off for all police, fire, soldiers, and teachers (?). Teachers? I ask you...this is a bit over the top.

I fear he will find himself in the same boat that we are. If you are a "come here", you havn't got a chance. Just because. You are foreign until you die....and then they will ask at your gravesite...never knew em.

So much for my restaurant critique. More Shore tomorrow. RD

Monday, June 15, 2009

Can you believe..

I've been at this computer site for nearly two hours. Yes, two hours, almost non stop. Again working on a practice blog, thanks Jacqui, to upload a background.

Now this has gone beyond all imagination. I know how to create a background. I've done it on other sites without a hitch.

Came across a blog entitled Buster Blog. I immediately signed up. He knows what he is talking about. In fact folks, there is a book out there....Blogger for dummies.

Now that is me. But this installation has gotten me so frazzled I'm thinking of throwing in the towel until I have this down right.

The practice blog was a godsend. I practiced and practiced. You know what I ended up with? My original stinky pink background! That's just too funny.

Oh gosh, I'm much better, thanks for asking. It's so good being on the up side of this thing. I've coughed my head off but that's what Robitussin is for. I'm still a little miffed about how I got this....Bob had to visit a sick client....the rest is history.
More Shore tomorrow. RD ps Here is the Blogger Buster on line book site

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cat out of the Bag

I don't write about my state of health very often. In fact I find it boring. However I have been absent for a while and there is an explanation...I have a lovely summer cold. End of story. I'm on the mend.

When I found myself browsing new backgrounds I knew that the fight was winding down. If you have any idea what a struggle it is for me to accomplish a new background you would have to agree ....I'm getting better...perhaps not sane as yet.

I want to do a variety of things, among them to bake a banana bread, clean up the windows in the 'keeping room' , hang some paintings, move a bookcase into the nook in the 'keeping room'. blah, blah blah...but at this moment I can't.

More Shore Life tomorrow.RD

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eastern Shore attempt at Ambiance

Like I've said so often.....ambiance? Sure it is nautical..the blue and white and the painted gray floors. But come wheel on the wall does not make this a cozy place.

We stopped here after our DMV fiasco. It used to be called the General Store. Situated in the town of Onancock on the dock. I liked it better back then, full of memorabilia, nautical and otherwise not so sterile.

The owner, who is older than dirt, assists you to your table. This should be against some rule...he needs help himself. Does not set the mood for enjoyment, unwinding, or anything else.

The joint is jumping in the late evening dinner hours. The menu looked very appetizing. A select few items, probably done well, and quite a few things to munch and crunch on. Mostly seafood are on the water, fishing ships anchored nearby, I would hope so.

I've been there in the past, when it was called the General Store. Always happy with my selection. Now, that it is called Mallards, I expect a great deal more...the prices reflect a chef in the kitchen after all.

The atmosphere leaves alot to be desired in the afternoon glare of the sun and wind. Way too bright for my taste. Should be taken down a few notches. The lighting was provided by old sol himself.

We ordered, what a skimpy selection. After being out on the water all day forever how long wouldn't you want something other than Bud light on tap? Maybe its just me....I'm originally from Milwaukee, land of cheese and beer, you would expect a little more. Heck, the yacht club in Milwaukee was a sight to behold. Dining was excellent as was the backbar.

What would you do to make this place....uhmmmmmmmmmmm, a bit more friendly? More Shore tomorrow. RD.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yukky Is Normal

At least for the Eastern Shore. My snake sightings have increased. To the point where I am confined to my home. That is not a great loss since I have a multitude of things to be done here. It is however, working on my psyche. Imprisonment is not a happy state. When you are busy you barely notice that you can't garden, carry out trash, do some of my outdoor things.

Once the fact sinks in....'you are a prisoner in your own home' you want to rebel and just go outdoors. And prove exactly what? That you have been an unreasonable person to begin with and 'lookee here, nothing to fear'.

I am not just a person who doesn't like snakes. Take em or leave em. No I am seriously phobic. That alone will tell you it is an unnatural reaction. Hey, some people are phobic about clowns....I'll never understand that one.

I see them in my yard. I watch them hunting the birds in the houses I built and painted for them. I see them slithering (under the house?). I see them in my dreams..constricting my dogs. I am freaked out by electric cords in the house. And on and on.

So you see, what is yukky to me is quite normal and taken for granted if you share any anecdote about snakes with your neighbors. Yet another reason to label me eccentric and worse. Enough of this subject.

Have you ever done something so stupid that you want to keep it to yourself or quite the opposite...tell the world? Here goes, I found a 'deal' on stickum floor tiles for my kitchen. Nothing, mind you, I would rate four stars had I seen it in a store.

The picture, in fact, was quite puzzling. Was it green or blue? Were the mosaics really that small? I bought it anyway....did I mention it was a deal? I can't resist things that may fill the bill at such a reduced price.

I ordered ten boxes. At a steal. Free shipping. Oh lord, they must really be bad. I kept telling myself that this is how I wanted to decorate..on a shoestring and passable. You are aware I want to unload this rural monstrosity as quickly as possible....needing to move on is a very new and realistic goal.

The first two boxes arrived...I must admit...they weren't that bad. Again something I wouldn't give two glances at but will do. Now the rub comes. Free shipping...sure. But at two boxes a day, or every other day or maybe a week inbetween deliveries. That's the deal. Not bad for free...that is what I keep in mind as these heavy boxes arrive two by two. There is always a hitch, a downside, if you will. What price are you willing to pay for free?

That is my confession and I'm sticking to it. Have you ever done something this foolish and paid in the end some way, some how? RD

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Under Construction .........again

I honestly had this page looking exactly as I wanted it to look. Simple, classy, and full of pics and tid bits.

I made the mistake of adjusting things which in no way needed adjusting and poof....all was gone. Including Followers, Comments AND MY HEADER.

LET ME TELL YOU, I am not an engineer, nor a patient person so this has been ever so frustrating. I went back to my Shabby Blogs site....grabbed something to make my page less generic....oh, come on...its industrial looking....I'm hardly that.

Went to Google my dilemma and low and behold....'if you lost your header .. you are in real trouble.' Duh...but nothing that I could understand that would get it back.

Where did it go? I kept trying to find it.... no luck. It did offer a suggestion that I could understand stating 'you must go back' where?

I've been on here long enough to know it isn't a piece of cake, but come on guys, lets make the instructions for the computer phobic ,like myself, easy peasy.

I've got a heck of a lot better things to do than read things I don't understand or better yet don't want to understand. Like what's a Zip file? Everything is in a zip file, including 47MG of my yahoo blogs. I shouldn't have to enroll in an on line computer class to get a background for my blog.

Another subject please .... The eggman dropped off more produce....yea. He starts planting in his greenhouse in February. I can't believe my is darn cold here in February. We received three cabbages...I've made one batch of cole was yummy. The second one is booked for stuffed cabbage leaves,yup it is still chilly enough for that heavy meal. The third....who knows...I don't plan ahead that far.

In the produce package we had more yellow squash, zucchini, and shallots. Can you believe it? I sent over an old timey school desk for his daughter( she plays school) and several boxes of books. This gifting thing is nice...I've got too much of one thing and he has too much of another. Life couldn't be simpler.

Ok...I haven't mentioned my 'keeping room' walls. I need to BUY another gallon of paint. Oh, I'm fit to be tied. I really wanted to avoid that, but in this case it can't be helped. All the prep work in the world wouldn't have made a difference, they are simply thirsty walls.

The color is disappointing to me. Looked pink in the can and now that it is up the contrast between the trim and the walls is so slight as to almost blend. I'll bet they put a whole drop of red in the mix. So I'll be at my favorite store Lowes tomorrow.

The cats are romping so it must be late...they sleep all day and at night the scampering begins.Great clock to set my life by. Tomorrow...more Shore. RD

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Its raining, its pouring.....

Just to let you know....the color is up....well sort of. It is so light almost white. No fear of a pink room there.

We had to shut down. Electricity going on and off. More paint tomorrow. RD

Jocasta Innes

About Jocasta
Jocasta was born in Nanking, China. Her childhood was much travelled (as her father worked for Shell), education patchy until she fetched up in the UK, studying at Girton College, Cambridge, where she took a Modern Language degree. She flirted with journalism (London Evening Standard), translated books for a living, married twice, had four children, hit the big time with Paint Magic (a blockbuster), rescued a Regency house from demolition, wrote books, presented a TV series, started a business, cycled across London to work at Cosmopolitan magazine, cooked, mothered, decorated, fell in love with an architect ( Sir Richard MacCormac) and lived the frantic, driven but mainly enjoyable life of a working woman and mother in the late 20 century. That was then.

Today she lives in the same Regency house, which is still evolving — decoratively speaking — and was recently featured in Hello and the London Magazine. She has collaborated with Sir Richard MacCormac as a colour consultant for major exhibitions at the Tate Modern and Tate Britain. She appears regularly on television as an interiors expert, has been the subject of many magazine and newspaper articles and is currently publicising her latest book, Home Time. Her home is still the most important place to her.

Listen to me on BBC Radio
4`s Woman`s Hour!
This is the author, artist and idea person I always go to when looking to make improvements.

From the list of books that she has written I clearly have missed out on a few of them. My dogeared copy of 'The Thrifty Decorator' is the go to book for me. From these pages I can add or subtract and get the look I'm longing to have.

I'm not that creative in this area. I need help and am not afraid to look things up or just ask. I am more of an idea person, I can visualize a space, and to get there I need guidance.

I own quite a few books on decorating, painting furniture, and ethnic touches. They sit there on my bookshelves until there is a dire need. We now have the advantages of the computer, but that isn't like holding it in your hands and going over the process.

I highly recommend any of her books for the 'how to diva' in my opinion.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Zinsser makes Bin

I rarely rave about a product. Not that there aren't many out there, telling us that they do this and that. Bin says it will prime and tighten up the surface and it does.

This latest beautification project wasn't my cup of tea. I haven't designated it for anything as yet,so it is a 'go with the flow' type of thing. As you recall, I do the oops thing and that leaves me quite limited as to just exactly what I will do.

It required two coats of Bin. Yup, it was that bad. The walls had to be hand scraped then the primer applied. The waiting time is the worst for me....I want to see color.

The ceiling is a boring white, along with the trim. This works. I had it around and it is just enough to finish the job. The doors will be a light gray, along with the stripe on the newly painted floors. Like I mentioned in a past post...the walls will be a light, light pink. This is a new thing for me. I'm not a pinky by nature but it is here and it was free.

I won't be painting today. I wear paint and I need to have an eye exam so I won't attempt to keep spotless and get it all done and look presentable for the new doc.

Think I will be watching the paint dry. Noooo, still putting finishing touches in the bedroom. Will that ever be finished? This room is one of those projects that is never quite complete. A dab of white found its way onto the burgundy, or vice versa. Oh, the switch plates need to be fitted. Do you paint your closets? That too. Do it right I say.

I do have other paintless projects that can keep me busy until it is time to go. Tell all tomorrow. RD

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wow...A book That is a must in my home....

Cover image of Pretty Pet Friendly by Julia Szabo
Pretty Pet-Friendly: Easy Ways
to Keep Spot᾿s Digs Stylish
& Spotless

As a pet parent, you know the challenge of trying to keep your home clean and stylish while maintaining a Pet-Friendly environment. When Julia Szabo, a renowned author and pet columnist for the New York Post and Country Living Magazine, faced this challenge she was inspired to write Pretty Pet-Friendly: Easy Ways to Keep Spot’s Digs Stylish & Spotless.

Pretty Pet-Friendly combines high style with an environmentally friendly standpoint to show you how having a Pet-Friendly pad can actually mean having the prettiest place on the block.

Pretty Pet-Friendly is filled with ideas to live well with your furry kids. It walks you through each area of the home, from the kitchen to the living room to the bedroom, providing practical tips, helpful how-tos, and unique recommendations for keeping things neat, Pet-Friendly, and chic.

Here’s an example of what you’ll find in some of the chapters of Pretty Pet-Friendly.
This cat enjoys a clean home environment
Floor Plan

As Szabo writes, “the floor is your dog or cat’s eminent domain. They eat there, sleep there and play there. And even the most well behaved pet will make messes there, too. Which is why your floor has to be designed to take a beating—or at least conceal the evidence.”

In Pretty Pet-Friendly, Szabo gives you easy, practical ways to keep your floors clean without sacrificing style—from your entryway and throughout each room of your home.

Learn what makes modular carpet tile an excellent flooring choice, especially for apartments; why, when it comes to hardwood floors, the harder the better; and why ceramic tile is the ideal option for large surfaces in any pet residence.

Szabo also gives her perspective on pet beds, including her point that where you position your dog or cat’s bed in your home is almost as important as the bed itself.

I have been convinced that all of the articles I read, blogs I subscribe to DO NOT HAVE PETS!...How on earth could they? Or...more reasonable to shoots take a very long time and the hounds and felines scatter. That must be it.

I have been trying, with little success, to shoot my new burgundy bedroom. There is always at least one cat reclining on the bed. Now this is a normal state of affairs but for the feline phobic I'm sure it is distressing.

I pride myself on being the queen of stain and odor removers...I've tried them all, and I know which ones are for the birds. But to physically remove a cat from her designated needs a vacuum cleaner set up very close. Believe me they scatter.

Just an home in Carefree Az was on the market for on and off five years. Tell me I didn't have some tricks up my sleeve. The ultimate sale of the house had nothing to do with the critters,but the ambiance. It was an artist home..all light was geared to the shadows and light. Not everyone's cup of tea. Also the location....that was the major drawback, except for adults. It hung precariously from a cliff. So you just know...after I worked for hours de-odorizing, de staining, and the realtor brought up a couple towing toddlers I very nearly screamed. Enough of this.

I'm happy to say I can order this book pronto. It is a must read. After all this glamorification of the farm house it better look and smell like Coco Channel.RD