Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pullin' up the carpet

Guess what I just did?

I am crossing off one of my goals I planned to do this Spring/Summer because I just pulled up my carpet in my living room. I'm looking at it and scratching my head wondering "what was I thinkin'?"

No one else has seen it yet and I know hearing their opinions will help mine considerably. I love it in other people's homes. And once they're restored, I'm sure I will be happy, but for now, my back hurts and I feel dusty and feel unsure about my efforts.

One thing I am certain of is this: It is truly rewarding to do something really productive and the satisfaction of being able to say, "I did that".

I can hardly wait to write off the other goals from my list.

(Thank you Janet for your enthusiasm and encouragement)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

One Red Paperclip and a Dream

Have you heard of Kyle MacDonald from Montreal? He had this dream to trade a red paper clip for something bigger and better.

It was a game he and his friends would play when he was a boy growing up. This time he decided to push it beyond his neighborhood.

So, he put his ad on Craigslist under the Barter section back in July and within twenty minutes he traded his paper clip for a fun fish pen. He was visiting his parents in Vancouver, BC at the time and met the two women at a 7-11 parking lot to make the trade. Then he traded the fun fish pen for a door knob with a smiley face on it from a woman in Seattle. From there, he went to Amherst to trade the knob for a coleman's stove. The two guys celebrated the trade by cooking steaks on it for lunch.

He travels all over making the trades in person and the trade up gets bigger and better.

Kyle dreams of owning his own house. And I bet he'll get it. He's already up to one year's free rent on a house in Phoenix.

All from a red paper clip. And a willingness to be creative and be original.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Paint By Desire

So, the other night I decided to start painting on a 24x36 canvas. Without having an easel, I always lean my paintings against the wall, while I sit or kneel or crouch on the floor to paint.

Paintings always looks so easy to do when you see them hanging on a wall in someone else's house. "I can do that!" I find myself saying all the time. "That looks easy enough!" I can see the painting in my imagination, but what comes out of my brush onto the canvas is completely different. Much like my singing voice. And now that I think about it, it's no different than my gift-wrapping efforts as well.

I am learning that painting a picture is hard work and can't be done overnight.

When I was a kid, I would sometimes have those coloring activity books that had dots inside the drawings. This was to inform me that I could use my water color paints on it. But no matter how many times I would paint in those coloring books, the paint always seem to seep through the pages. And I never understood what all those dots were about anyway.

I loved painting-by-numbers. Remember them? You never had to make any decisions about what the colors should be like or what to paint, because it was all written out for you. I still really like the style of the bold colors and the shading. It looks so easy to do. Not really any blending at all.

But, of course, it's never easy.

Unless you're a painter.

I'm not that patient when it comes to painting.

So there I was, squatting on the floor painting, when I decided to paint a straight line and I was too shaky, so I used the blue tape one uses when painting the interior walls of a home. I taped it where I wanted the line to be straight. But I was so thrilled by thinking of that grand idea, I didn't wait for the paint to dry before ripping off the tape to see my perfect straight line.

Of course, the paint smeared.

Shaken, I stood up to step back to see my painting more clearly, when I accidently kicked the water glass over filled with a mucky orangy-greenish-blue paint. It was disastrous.

As hard as I could, I wasn't able to scrub the large stain out of my living room carpet.

Remember when I spoke of my desire of pulling out my carpet? I think I'll be pulling it up sooner than later. Because right now, all I can see when I walk toward the kitchen is the stain. I know my hardwood floors will have stains, as well. But I'm ready for the change and I'm ready for the new challenges.

Wish me well. Any recommendatons/suggestions accepted.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Vespas are not the speediest of vehicles. But I love the way they look. And I always get a kick out of seeing someone driving one. They seem so colorful. Everyone has a story and I try and imagine what theirs might be.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Contemplating Spring

I am sitting here freezing to death. I am half-believing any moment I will start to grow a thin layer of fur to keep me warm. It's been raining here too many days in a row. I heard on the news that it has rained 45 out of the last 50 days.

The average rainfall is 29 inches a year. This year it has already rained more than 15 inches over that number and there is no end in sight.

While standing over my heater vent, I looked down at my aging carpet and decided to pull the heater vent off I was standing over and pull the carpet up against the wall and see the condition of my hardwood floors. They looked pretty good in the 5 by 7 inch area I saw. I got so excited, I had to stand on my hands for a bit to keep me from pulling any more carpet up. I will wait for a warmer, sunnier day and when I'm alloted more time, I will pull away, not knowing what I'm doing, of course.

I went back to standing over my heater vent and while standing over it, feeling the warmth flow upward toward me, I started to daydream of what I will do when Spring actually arrives at my doorstep.

Here are ten things on my wish list I would like to start doing in Spring, and have them completed by the Fall.


01. I want to clean out my bedroom closet and only keep a small amount of clothes that I actually wear and donate the rest.

02. I want to lay new linoleum down on the floor under my kitchen sink, where it flooded when I first moved in and the linoleum came up.

03. I want to pull out all those sticker bushes on the side of my house that seemed to grow overnight.

04. I want to pull up my carpet in my living room just as I have seen Tanya Memme do a dozen times on A&E's Sell This House.

05. I want to paint the exterior of my house. Not because it needs it, but because I want to.

06. I want to clean out my garage and organize it.

07. I want to buy a red chair for my living room.

08. I want to create a better garden in my backyard.

09. I want to add more curb appeal to the front of my house.

10. I want to go through the boxes in my closets and throw out (or donate) the stuff I don't really need or want.

When I do these, I will post the before and after photos as I complete my list.

All day I've been singing, "The sun will Come Out Tomorrow.." and even though I know it won't be for at least another week, I am beginning to feel the spring in my walk as I contemplate Spring and daydream of those long sunny days and warm evenings of Summer.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Eye Test

How many Fs do you see in the text above? Go ahead and count them.

There are six Fs in there. Go back and read it again.

You know why you didn't count six? Apparently, the brain can't process the word "OF".

The other day I came across someone who couldn't process the word "NO", but that's another story.

Saturday, April 1, 2006


I noticed on my calendar that Spring arrived last week, but I can only imagine it from a distant memory. Looking out my window here in the Bay Area, I can only see gray skies and a continual pouring of cold, constant wet rain.

Oh Spring. Please come and pay us a visit soon.