I’ve decided to revamp my blog. Writing isn’t the only thing I do; though I’m retired, I’m in the process of remodeling a 1400 square foot, two story, 1936 Dutch Colonial Revival house.

When I’m working alone at the house, I write in my mind. Unless I have a power tool in my hands and need to focus on the job at hand because I’m adverse to losing a digit or appendage, or my life. But if it’s a repetitive no brainer job, this is when I write. I obsess about a piece I’m writing, a topic, emotion or a problem, a poem, song lyrics, a sundry other things which amount to pounding bleached dead horse bones into powder. Unless I have a satori and then I need to write it down because I’m a sixty year old netting butterflies before they disappear.

This house spoke to me, I bought it for a song and promptly tore it apart to make it better. To give it the attention it was asking for. Gutted it completely. Electrical, plumbing, lath and plaster. A grueling physical job and I was sore as hell for weeks. I have the requisite scars and dented fingernails. 

The sellers rented this house to the same tenant for over twenty years. They could have bought the house five times. This made me sad. The sellers did not put a dime into the house except to cover things up. I took down a suspended ceiling to find water leaks, rotted wood and a hole the squirrels were using to store nuts and pine cones in the ceiling. Eighty years of whole and half eaten pine cones fell onto my face. That pissed me off.

I have put in fourteen new windows and will be moving the stairs which are located in the middle of the house and take up 20% of the first floor square footage. My intention is to open it up completely. I cut out the back door to put in a patio slider that felt like eight hundred pounds. I put in a front door with side panels. Friends and passers-by ask why I’m putting so much time and money into the house if I’m going to sell it. Because it’s my baby, my hobby, a work of art and my reputation. This week I return to work after a three month recovery from rotator cuff surgery in January. Second surgery on my right shoulder while I’ve had the house. The surgeries and paying for our daughters wedding have caused significant delays.
Another project I completed last year. I saw a picture of this fence that I love and finally put it together.


The gate took a long time to complete as I had to individually rip sixty 1/8 inch strips for the weave.

5 thoughts on “Refocusing Blue Jeans

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