Monday, May 28, 2012

A Little Disaster, A Little Tiling

I have kept myself fairly busy this weekend. A lot of sewing, I have to admit, but I put today aside for "house" work and wood. I split wood for a while this morning before it got too, too hot and while the splitter was in the shade. I am making good progress on the last rack.

When I couldn't take it anymore, I went in and (after some recovery) decided I could tackle the marble tile on the island. I wasn't committing to cutting the tiles at the north end (too much set up...I couldn't even think about it), but I thought I could at least get it started. And that's what I did.

First I took out the sink so that I wouldn't damage it. (And just in case I went crazy and did manage to cut the tile to fit around the hole.) Then I started to remove tiles and lay them in the foyer so I could finalize the layout. I removed tiles from the west side and as I got most of them removed, the weight of the tiles on the overhanging edge made the whole counter tip up and dump the remaining tiles on the floor!! Aaahhhh....quelle disastre!!

Fortunately nothing landed hard on my toes, but I did lose two of the three tiles that fell. (I think I managed to hang on to one of them.)
On the bright side, I have some tiles I can practice my cutting on to see if it's any different than cutting porcelain and I have some smaller pieces in case I need to bring a colour sample to match something. Yes, let's look for silver linings.

The real silver lining is that I still had enough tiles with four good clean corners (I have quite a number with one damaged corner) with one left over so I felt like I had some choice of which pieces to use.

I went and found Troy and pulled him in from the field where he was discing (or something) in his little field. He was gracious enough to come in right away and fasten down the counter. Once that was done, I dove in.
I got the nine tiles in the main part put in and that's about where I ran out of energy and ran out of tile adhesive. So that was it for the day.
I was worried about getting all the corners to match but I think I did pretty well. I was also worried about matching the height of the tiles because they're quite uneven. That was not quite a successful, but will have to do. We still haven't decided what we're doing about sealing the cracks. Troy is not so keen on silicone suddenly and I can't find red grout. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Troy has not been doing too much in the kitchen since spring has sprung and he felt the pressure of working on his garden.
On the good side, it is looking wonderful this year. So neat and orderly and weed free.
He abandoned last year's pretense of "not doing a garden" and has planted lots and lots. I think it's all in the ground now. Broccoli, cauliflower, popping corn, sweet corn, meal corn, parsnips, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, mildish peppers, and maybe I've forgotten some. He's putting carrots in in July. He has been visiting the local town compost supply (from leaf collection primarily) and picking up loads in his pickup truck. Then it seems to be a race of when he can empty the load and get another one!

He also has gotten the sprinkler system up and running this year which is good with the weather we've been having...crazy hot!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I hate being right, again...about the Federal Budget

It is with great sadness that I have watched our great nation wade ever deeper into debt.  I found it alarming two decades ago.  I found it very alarming during the Bush administration.  Now I am out of euphemisms to describe how bad this has gotten.  I became aware some time ago that we were approaching a "point of no return" where the US national debt becomes impossible to pay off.  We have now crossed that point.  This has serious repercussions. Rather than give you tedious charts with numbers, I will refer you to a 6 minute video that describes the problem:

We have ignored or rejected every possible solution that presented itself over the last 20 years.  While each of those solutions would have involved sacrifice and pain, it would have been a trifling thing compared to the pain and suffering we will endure now, all because of the inability of the Feds to do something unpopular which might limit their power or cause them to lose an election.

They will be able to maintain the appearance of normalcy for another year or two at the most.  Because of the "stimulus" money they are now dumping into the economy, it will appear that things are turning around.  The stock market will go up.  The unemployment numbers will improve (whatever that means, the numbers are all fudged anyway:  ).  Housing will make a mild "turnaround".  8-18 months after the election, I expect to lose all those artificial gains as the "free money" peters out, and in fact the economy should really do worse.  So mark it on your calendars that somewhere between May 2013 to February or March of 2014, the economy is going to take a dive.

The mainstream media will be all surprised.  You might hear the term triple dip recession, but it will all be a big lie.  The recovery will be all a big sham.  So reduce your debt, which represents financial risk.  Pile up your savings/emergency fund.  Plan on not getting a raise, and maybe plan on some wage reduction.  A garden and a deeply stacked pantry would not be a bad thing.

The reference to Greece in the video is an apt one.  That's what it will look like here, up to and including the riots when austerity measure finally get put in place.  Don't be taken by surprise.  This is a mathematical certainty.  The only doubt is when exactly, and I mentioned dates based on my estimates just to give some guidance in planning, but they could be wrong.  But even if my timing is not spot on, do not doubt the absolute certainty or the magnitude of the looming problem.

Once again, I pray that I am wrong and everything just gets better and better.  My predictive track record would suggest otherwise, but I can always hope.

Finest regards,


Sunday, May 06, 2012


I have very exciting news. Saturday I finished grouting all the tile of the back splash in the kitchen. See? Very exciting!

I have to apologize for the way I'm going to tell you about it because I'm watching a new episode of Sherlock and am completely distracted.
You may recall that I got the north wall done a couple weeks ago.

I knew I had to the next wall in one push and so I started early (ha ha...I started at 11:00) and worked for six hours straight.
With the radio on, I set up, cleared counters, laid drop cloth, switched off the electricity, removed the under cabinet radio and laid tape straight through Wait Wait. I mixed grout and started applying it through Splendid Table and then three hours of the Blues with Ole Harv. I hate that show but I was too busy to find something else to listen to. (And working in silence, isn't an option.) By the time This American Life came on at 4, I knew I had it beat and was winding down. Still an amazing amount of clean up and putting things together.
When Troy came home, everything was back in place and you couldn't even tell that I had done anything. Except that the gaps between the tile were gone, of course!
It looks ok, but mostly I'm just glad it's done. It's now up to Troy to put Silicone down between the tile and the counter and in a couple weeks I'll have to seal the grout. I got a spray can that's supposed to make it easy. We'll see.
Meanwhile I will enjoy being able to put things out on the counter. I've been keeping them clear because I knew they would be in my way. Now I can put some pops of colour in front of that white background.
Next up besides maybe a small break? The curtains.
I've been thinking of them for a while but told myself I couldn't work on them until I got the tile done. And guess's done!
I will be so happy to get rid of this old thing. I took an old piece of fabric, sewed a pocket into the top and am still stuck with it years later! I picked up some very cute fabric last summer when I was in Missouri and I can't wait  to see it up. I considered a roman shade, but I think I'm going with a roller blind. I'll let you know...when I get to it...

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