Where the Magic Happens

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One major reason why I have been away from WordPress for so long is the long awaited finishing of my studio. Our 10th anniversary was in 2016 and my husband gifted me with this wonderful, little building. I told him that I wanted it to look like a Wild West mercantile. The wood is cedar that was milled by my father-in-law on a small, circular sawmill giving it an authentic, vintage look. The windows were salvaged from my sister-in-law’s house when she had all their windows replaced. My husband designed and built the entire thing including the garden which, soon after this photo was taken, was filled with wildflowers. He has two shops of his own and we turned my old porch shop (see previous posts) into a lapidary for the stones we have been collecting. I think it goes without saying, that I married into a pretty awesome family and I have a more than awesome spouse!

Fire Season is Upon Us.

Two Bulls Fire  6/8/2014
Two Bulls Fire 6/8/2014

Every summer in Central Oregon, we are plagued by at least one major forest fire; usually several. This season is off to an early start with the Two Bulls fire, just outside of Bend, Oregon, We knew something was amiss when the moon last Saturday night was glowing an eerie yellow. By the next day, the air quality was so bad we were nearly coughing all the way back to Beaverton! Of course, as is usually the case, this fire was man made. No word yet on whether or not is it arson, but given that it was two simultaneous fires, I have my thoughts that it was.

Two Bulls Fire From Bend
Two Bulls Fire From Bend

The New Wood Shop and California.

 

Cambria California.
Cambria California.

We just came back from a whirlwind trip to central, coastal California to pick up an entire wood working shop generously donated by my father (who decided to find new and less detail oriented hobbies).

What a trip! We drove down there (8oo miles) in two days from the Portland, Oregon area. After spending 4 days being stuffed with rich food and soaking up as much sun as possible, we drove back to La Pine in central Oregon in one day; 16 hours….whew.

The shop took an entire day to disassemble and pack and only about 2 hours to unpack and inspect.

It is not all reassembled or set up yet, of course. My husband already HAS a wood shop, so it will be a long process to decide what goes and what stays, but I am sure that in the next year or so, there will be lots of good things coming out of all this.

While I was in California, I took advantage for the rock shops and coastal shore lines and brought back a large number of new goodies.

You should expect to see a lot more in my shops these coming months as well.

Montana del Oro

 

Baby it’s Cold Out There!

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This morning in La Pine it was -26 degrees F. That’s -32 degree Celsius to my Canadian friends.

Winter is definitely upon us! That is my husband’s chapped hand in the photo. He went to our La Pine house this weekend to pick up a garage heater he purchased during a Black Friday sale at the local hardware store. No sense in trying to heat the garage in La Pine! I think the heater would run out of fuel before it make a dent in the cold.

Here in Beaverton it is a frigid 10 degrees F. That’s -12 degrees Celsius to my European friends.

The garage heater was purchased at my urging. My husband is a very talented woodworker who has lost his muse and as a result, filled his garage (workshop) with piles and piles of useless crap. My goal for 2014 is to get him back out there and making “stuff”. But first we need to purge a bit and that requires a heater. He must be eager to get started, because he drove 4 hours in icy conditions to a house that took 12 hours to heat up just to get the heater….and perhaps a little bit of “alone” time.

We realized right after her left, that in the 7+ years we have been together, we have only been separated twice; once for a hunting trip (him) and once to strip paint at the new house (me). That might explain why we drive each other nuts! Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

To anyone reading this, please stay warm, stay enlightened and don’t forget to take your vitamins.

I have a feeling it is going to be a long, cold winter for most of us.

When moving day finally came, it was the end of August. We had our offer approved at the beginning of February and as I stated earlier, the whole process what a NIGHTMARE. By the time we actually took posession of the house, I had convinced myself that it was never going to happen. It still took several month before I could relax enough to actual ENJOY being there and to this day, I still have a tiny voice in the back of my head that thinks that the bank will come and take it away from us at any moment.

It needed A LOT of work, but that was one of the things we loved most about it. We could really begin working on making it OURS.Image

Living room in VERY cheerful yellow!

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Front, Upstairs Master Bedroom with Low Ceilings.

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Back Upstairs Bedroom with Moon.

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Cast iron bathtub that was covered in peeling paint and rust stains

You get the picture, no room was without it’s own special character, but oh what fun we are having with it!

 

Once Upon a House – New Roof!

Sorry I have been absent for so long. Tis’ the time of year for illness, holiday panic and, if you live in western Oregon, rain.

As for the house in La Pine, this story could go one of two ways. I could bore you, or anger you, or make you feel empathy by ranting on and on about the process of buying a house in a short sale….but I think it would be best to leave that to an entirely different thread. Trust me, it was a NIGHTMARE. The end result was that we got the house and I was put on blood pressure medication, but there were no homicides on my behalf, which is always a good thing.

In order to get the house, we had 2 weeks from closing to put a new roof on it or we would lose our financing. We found an excellent roofer (after finding a complete charlatan who caused more harm than good – but again, that is part of the OTHER story) and he agreed to have the roof installed by the deadline for the tidy sum of $12,000.

Seems having a pitched roof and needing a high quality roofer comes with a steep price tag. But, they had us over a barrel. By the time we got to this part of the transaction, I was so riled up, there was NO WAY we were not going to get this house. Of course, when we drove out to La Pine on the day of the deadline, the house still sat, old roof intact….but again, that is the OTHER story.

Wow, I have PTSD just thinking about the 7 months I spent fighting over this house…..breathe.

Ok, so where was I….Oh, yes, WE GOT THE HOUSE!!!!

The new roof was finally put on, the financing stayed intact, for the most part, and we were ready to start dreaming and scheming about how we were going to turn this slapped together vacation home into something we were proud to call our permanent residence.

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Old roof from the back of the house.

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Old roof from the front of the house.

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New Roof!!!!

As stated earlier, come move in day, we still did not have a new roof, but we remained hopeful and made some panicked phone calls. It turned out the sky light the roofer had ordered, was subsequently shattered and they needed an additional week to get a new one (you can see it in the above photo). The finance people we already calling ME asking why I had not taken care of the roof, but in the end, through shoddy cell phone service and hard to reach people on a Saturday, it seemed that everything would still work out.

I had never owned a house before….actually, I never even IMAGINED owning a house before, so this whole experience to me was surreal.

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Here I am, standing for the first time on MY porch…mine, all mine.

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Then a friendly squirrel offered to snap a picture of hubby carrying me over the threshold.

He likes to note that there was not an ounce of strain showing in his body as he lugged me into what has, thus far, become my dream home.

The House is Ours!!!

Sorry for the delay in posting anything new. My daughter was in the hospital with a serious kidney infection. I thought, given the circumstances, that I would veer off in a new direction and dabble a bit into parenting.

My daughter is 18 years old and has been suffering with an unknown disorder for several years now. Actually, it seems she might have had it her whole life and it took puberty to make it’s ugly presence known. She has accute bladder pain that happens sporatically and leaves her incopacitated for days on end. We have yet to find a cause, but it is clearly worse when she is under stress or having horemonal spikes. We thought it might be interstisal cystitis, but she is laking too many symptoms. 

A few years ago, after the urologist had ruled out any kind of abnormalies, he put her on Toviaz (an overactive bladder medication) and that seemed to at least lessen the frequency. Lately, however, things have taken a myserious turn for the worse. Over the past few months, we hae ben to urgent care several times to address what we thuh were bladder infections. The doctor would do a quick urine test for white blood cells and then write her a prescription for antibiotics.