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Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Hey, hey hey!!! What’s goin’ on?

June treating you well? I sure hope so. For my end, “mystery flare” ended in early May. I’m feeling good again, regaining strength, and attacking all sorts of projects. I have SO MUCH to share with you! For instance, I’m not the brightest crayon in the box.

No, really. If you know me, you know this to be true. If we haven’t met, well, there ya go. I like to think of myself as one of the metallic crayons, like copper. Sparkly, has some color, but really rather dull when it comes down to it. Oh, sheesh- the things I do.

You may have noticed I haven’t blogged in, oh, a month. I couldn’t. Well, I thought I couldn’t. I tried.  Oh, this is embarrassing guys…


One of our barn cats, George, got himself a sore on his neck- likely a cat bite. He plays rough. The wound was under his chin- high enough that he couldn’t reach it by licking. But that didn’t stop him from trying. Over the span of several days he managed to strip all the fur from just below the wound to his lower chest- a pretty good patch of bald. But his sandpaper tongue had really irritated the skin. It was becoming infected. Oh, George.

We brought him inside for treatment and a little time in the Cone of Shame. But George is a social guy. He’s also INCREDIBLY vocal- especially when lonely. So, we brought in a friend to keep him company.


Our office doubles as our cat hospital. We’ve been through the drill enough to have a system down. And it works pretty well. A couple days, and it’s over.

But it wasn’t a couple days for George. It was three weeks. I had tried blogging several times, believe me. George and whichever friend was with him (he has several sibs. They all took turns having sleepovers in the Big House.), were DELIGHTED every time. They found the mouse fascinating. My lap, my face, my hands, the keyboard- all was fair game for smothering. Or attacking. Or smacking. Or licking. Or biting.

Not to mention that our computer, a desktop, is the kind with the touch screen. Kitties love swatting at cursors on the screen. Let me tell you, things become complicated quickly when your cat clicks links and moves your cursor while you’re typing. Eventually, I gave in, shut the machine down, and played with the cats.


Somewhere in week two I began brainstorming alternatives. We needed another room. By the third week I knew the only other room that would work was our laundry room. It needed a door. But not just any door. Given where the room’s entrance was situated and how we’d use that room, I wanted a sliding barn-style door. I’ve known this for awhile. Now, if you’ve looked into those, you know the hardware can be about $300.00.


Yeah, not gonna happen. But, if you’re a Pinterest addict like me, you know there are alternatives for say, $50. That’s more my style.

I already had the perfect door; an old, solid, curbside find that we picked up for free. (Prince Charming has never let me forget it.) It needed some love, but it could work. I was pretty fired up at this point; feeling good, I wanted my office back, and I was going to ROCK THIS PROJECT!

I mentioned to the Man what I was thinking. He had a few questions, but was overall on board with the idea. We had to head into town anyway, so we grabbed the supplies needed to get my door rolling. I picked up a lead paint testing kit while I was there.

EPA-Recognized 3M™ LeadCheck™ Swabs

Back home, I set to work testing the old door’s paint. (It was super easy, friends.) If it tested positive for lead, well, of course I’d have to strip it. I’d never done that before, but it seemed easy enough- just not quick. Honestly, I was hot to trot to get this thing done and up, and I didn’t want to have to take the time. I could hear my Handsome Prince clunking away inside the house while I carefully ran the test.

“What is he doing?”

Positive for lead. Absotively, posilutely! Bummer.

I came inside to scratch out a new supplies list. Then I saw it.

Prince Charming had gone downstairs, grabbed the original door to the laundry room, and put it back on its hinges. The door we had in the basement the whole time. The door that could have solved our dilemma weeks ago if I had just thought of it. Why did it never occur to me? (face. palm. here.)

We moved the cats to their new territory. And no kidding, by that time, George’s neck had healed up so well, that he was back outside the next day. Yep.

Meanwhile, I have a mostly stripped door in the garage. (I’m thinking of writing a post called “How to Make Stripping a Door Much Harder Than You Have To”. Over-complication is one of my superpowers.) I have a sack of pipe fittings on my table, and 7 feet of galvanized pipe by my stairs. But we’re making progress. It’s still going to be AWESOME!

Before the lightbulb moment (of moving the cats to the laundry room) ever hit me, I had a few other projects going. ‘Cause I’m feeling better! I’ve finally (three years finally) managed to re-frame the super-heavy beast of a full-length mirror I’ve had sitting around. And then it fell part. So I did it again. And it’s good. Third time’s a charm, eh?

I’ve started on a table made entirely from scraps I have lying around. It’s pretty cool. It’s got its quirks, for sure. More on that later.

I’ve rearranged several rooms, planted lots of flowers, put some yard art in the gardens, refinished my headlights, and gone through lots of spray paint. It feels really good.

More to come, friends! From your friendly copper-colored crayon. 🙂



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