30 September 2013
24 September 2013
Now that we soon plan to sell this old apartment building, my eye is continually drawn to bits we will leave behind. We purchased it in 2000, then gutted the thing inside and rebuilt it. First came the upstairs apartments, finished within 6 months, so we could have rent money coming in. Then we spent several years combining the 2 downstairs apartments into one large 3-bedroom apartment for us.
This is an old sketch I once drew of the front of the building. I used to grow herbs in the containers on the stoop. The 1920 brick building has a spacious 2-story front porch.
Upstairs, the woodwork is painted --- easier to keep up between renters. But downstairs we have gorgeous oak trim and built-ins. There is a structural beam in the kitchen where we took out one load-bearing wall . . . so Bill added two fake beams so the ceiling balances out visually. In the eating area, he built an oak sideboard with vintage leaded glass salvaged from his grandmother's old farmhouse. The nickel-plated brass light fixture is one of two salvaged from this building. We also salvaged 3 other original lights, as well as one of the original claw-foot tubs.
The walls are not really yellow --- they are a lovely paint called "Hyacinth White". But when the sunshine streams in from the south windows, it appears a warm yellow.
Bill made the bookshelf on the left side of the upper sketch from 2 discarded kitchen cupboard doors. A cabinet-making friend of ours had a customer who ordered them and then changed her mind. So Bill used them as doors for this cabinet.
Here is another sketch from the livingroom, showing the oak mantelpiece and side cabinets Bill built around the fireplace.
16 September 2013
As we wait for Bill's bypass surgery, we are moving forward in plans to move to Texas. At the moment, that includes going through "excess stuff", getting rid of what we don't need to move with us. Over the weekend, we cleaned through a junk drawer in the top of Bill's dresser. Among the junk, we found this old belt caddy for a long-gone tool. As Bill was tossing it in the trash pile, I latched on to it --- It perfectly holds my three favorite travel brushes!
Which frees up a row in my favorite watercolor palette. Now I can fit in all twenty of my paint colors. Part of my simplifying and reducing includes cutting down on the number of watercolors I own. I once had around 40 --- ridiculous, I know, since so many were simply convenience colors easily mixed. While 20 still seems like a lot, it's greatly simplified for me.
While I'm at it, I went ahead and copied Cathy 'Kate' Johnson's idea of modifying this fountain pen. I took the bent flexible nib off my Hero M86 pen, which had an over-heavy cap that would not post on the end, and installed it in this Noodler's Creeper pen body. Much easier to use now!
13 September 2013
Bill's cell phone belonged to his company and has been turned in now that he is retired. We do like having one at hand when traveling, for emergency, so we went to buy a simple one for him. And found out that it is much cheaper to have two cell phones than to have one cell phone and one home phone line. So we got a two-phone package deal.
Of course, that means the end of my high-speed internet, which was through the home phone line. Now I have this wee device that provides internet wherever we are through the cell phone towers. Good for traveling but a lot slower. Maybe I'll spend less time on-line . . .
12 September 2013
05 September 2013
. . . in a totally unexpected way. On Saturday, Bill had a heart attack.
While looking forward to taking early retirement the end of October, he was preparing to work on our daughter's new kitchen cabinets in his woodshop when he began to experience an unknown pain. Sitting down a bit did not help, so he drove home (about 12 blocks) --- upon entering our apartment, the pain increased tremendously and he said "take me to the hospital, I'm having a heart attack". Scary.
Instead, I phoned 911 --- and so thankful I did! The EMTs began treatment right away and, instead of taking him to the hospital 3 blocks from our home they drove him to a hospital about 15 miles away. I wasn't even aware of this medical center, it being only 10 years old, but they are set up especially for heart conditions. The Lord clearly prepared the way: both cardiologist and heart surgeon just happened to be there when he arrived.
After 2 stents and a few days in the hospital, he is now at home. The doctors conferred and decided that the best course of action is to have him on Plavix for 30 days, then double bypass surgery set for 30 Sept. (There is still blockage in one artery.) So far, his attitude is good. And the Lord is good.
The bit from a devotional penned on the above sketchbook page "just happened" to be the next daily entry from something I'm reading on my Kindle. It seemed to be timely words of encouragement directly from the Lord to me. I love when He does that.