Tuesday, May 10, 2011

When the cat's got my tongue, or....

What I'm doing when I'm not blogging.

Well, friends, only six weeks left until I complete the job that has been depleting my creative juices.  My work on the Grand Jury has sapped my free time and most of those particular mental and emotional resources from which my writing would normally be drawn. So much of my life is consumed just now by things I'm not allowed to talk about. And all the rest I'm just too tired to think about, let alone write about.


And so, I've taken on other projects.

As I've likely mentioned before, we've been puppy-sitting our grand-chihuahua (and grand-tabby cat) for the last few months while my daughter teaches English in the Republic of Georgia. We were filled to the brim with pets before, and now our house runneth over....and so does Lil' Chompy, all over the carpet.  We've intended to replace the decades old rental house carpet ever since we bought this place four years ago. We just kept waiting for the Sack-O-Cash to drop from the sky to pay for it.
Unfortunately, it hasn't started raining cash yet, but it has been raining dog pee, and the carpet has gotten worse and worse until I couldn't get rid of the odor and couldn't stand it any longer.

A few weeks ago I pulled up the corner of the carpet where the smell seemed to be the strongest and found it to be soaked through and deeply stained. And I made the commitment right then and there. I cut out about three square feet of carpet. Since then, on days or evenings when I'm home but Paul's at work (I can't do this when Paul is home because the filth will aggravate his asthma.) I've been tearing out carpet.  As of right now I'm about half-way through. It's a big and messy job. As you can see. Under the carpet and padding is a layer of powder-fine dirt, and under that 106 year old plank floor (not hardwood). The hardest part of the job is moving the furniture. Since our house is so tiny, almost all our furniture items must do double-duty as storage. As a result almost everything I have to move is stacked or filled with books, music, games, videos, etc.

Since we cannot afford the several hundred extra dollars labor charge to have new flooring installed, we had to choose a kind of flooring simple enough for me to install myself. After speaking to several people, we settled on vinyl plank hardwood, in a cherry shade, since that was the prettiest of the sale items. Removing the carpet is hard work, but satisfying in the sense that I can't really mess it up. Installing new flooring is a different matter. I'm pretty nervous about that part, but that step is still a few weeks away. In the meantime it's rough, stained, paint-splattered wood and ever-diminishing patches of disgusting carpet.

The picture to the right gives an idea of just how filthy the wood is even after sweeping it.  The picture below shows Lil' Chompy, the catalyst for all this change. (That linoleum is gone now, too, by the way.) He is no doubt looking outside because it's much prettier out there.



This winter must have done something special to our yard. All our plants, things we've planted in the first years since we moved in are blooming wildly for the first time. What a happy and fulfilling feeling! If only I had more free time to spend out there enjoying it all!
Our mandarin tree is loaded with sweet citrus blossoms
giving us hope for our first ever home-grown fruit!

More mandarin blossoms!



Clematis flowers have woven themselves
into the grapevine.

It's the third spring since planting.
We're hoping to see our first grapes this year.

Grapevine (and some weeds)
growing along the fence
Cinco!

6 comments:

WhiteStone said...

What a job! I once laid three bedrooms of laminate flooring all by myself (first peeling up carpet!).

If I can do that at my age (then nearly 60) you can, too. Of course I damaged my shoulder and had to have therapy for frozen shoulder! My motto...the old "measure twice, cut once". And ever cautious with the electric saw.

I love the clematis in the grapevine!

countingmyblessings said...

Laurie, You are one busy lady! It's great to catch up and hear about Spring in Chico. Many many blessings to you and Paul!!

Hydriotaphia said...

Well there was little me thinking your post's title was just a verbal taunt made by mother to her 4 sisters when they were teenagers some 60 years ago.

Nice to hear that life goes on despite towers falling. I always enjoyed the clean surface of marble floors when visiting apartments in Italy, Carpet ? well it's just one big dirt-magnet as it ages.

Life goes on, praise the Lord ! I am meeting American, Dutch, French and Australian visitors in the church of Saint J.

If you're are not going hungry, cold or sick, oppressed politically, affected by natural disaster or without clean water, give your thanks to the Lord !

Mae said...

You did this yourself? Good for you. I wish I can buy my laminate or hardwood flooring and get it done by myself. But I have to wait till summer is over. :/

Laurie M. said...

Haha! Judy! You're an amazing lady. That aside though, really, I can measure 10 times, cut once, and still get it wrong, which is why I still haven't put up the crown molding in my dining room. I just KNOW I'll mess it up and have a misaligned corner at the end of it all. That's part of why I'm nervous about the floor. We'll see how it goes though.

Laurie M. said...

Deb, It's so good to see you here again too! I hope all is well with your and your precious grandbabies.