Monday, January 28, 2019

Bruce in Action

There is not a whole lot that Bruce cannot accomplish if he sets his mind to it. I am, of course, the beneficiary of his efforts for which I am most grateful. While some may have worried that he would not find enough to do in retirement, so far, so good. He's stayed very busy in the last week making our new house a home, in part because the airplane was still in the paint shop and so he was only there for one morning, leaving him free to tackle home projects.

Before we get started with all of that, more ducks just for fun.
With that out of the way, let's look at some of the ways in which our home is becoming more livable every day. Perhaps that is the wrong wording. You decide.

The newly worked pantry with linoleum tiles on the bottom shelf for easy cleaning, along with a terrific place to store my baking pans!
He rearranged the shelves making it far easier to access what I need. Before all the baking pans were stacked one on top of another which was anything but convenient. Furthermore, because we have so few drawers, I had my food wraps in a basket that required me to constantly remove more than I needed looking for just the right thing. This photo was taken before we got the top shelves straightened out, but they are now good as well.

My frying pans! I know, I've got a whole bunch, but they all get used. I also know that I got by with only two in Vancouver, but that was then, and this is now.
The tiles, which he also put under the sink, are peel and stick and work very well. Because the lazy Susan was emptied, he decided to cover the shelves, but how do you do that when it is round and has a cut out? Here's how:
Without a large enough compass, he went about devising one of his own. After drawing the circle, he measured in enough to make the cut out.
This area was a bit of an eyesore before, having ripped shelf liner, exposing the original install instructions, but now both are covered, and will lay flatter once all of the cans and such are in there.
Avid readers will recall that I was bemoaning the lack of shelves in our new home. I now have two little ones in the kitchen to hold some cookbooks!
I could not find any bookends in a store so instead used my little piggy bank that stores my laundry money, as well as an antique box from Bruce's parents. The rooster came from Matt, the "God bless our home" also came from Bruce's parents. The creamer and sugar bowl came from Carol. You get the idea--everything has meaning to me.

During our little Christmas party, one of the fellows asked me about the vases and such I had over the sliding glass doors. Actually, he asked me why they were only on one side? That got me to thinking and when I saw a fantastic deep teal vase at the thrift store, an idea hatched in my little brain. I still need a few but last week I managed to accumulate some others.
When the sun comes through in the morning it is fantastic! (The only rule I have is that they are used)
A few weeks ago, David remarked that perhaps the painting over our kitchen table was a little much, as in super intense and dark. The more I looked at it, the more I agreed. In our home, it worked great because it was a much larger space with natural light from both a skylight and a glass door. It may sound corny, but there just wasn't enough room for it to breathe. (YIKES!!Did I really just type that?)

A gallery wall came to mind with smaller, more personal pieces. While at IKEA we looked at frames that look good, but have thin plastic instead of glass, and as I said to Bruce, "they look pretty good, but you and I both know, they aren't all that good." So, I began going to the thrift store, looking for frames. Consulting the internet, I learned what I could about gallery walls. One other thing Dave said is that, "The good thing about these condos is that there is a lot of wall space. The bad think is that there is a lot of wall space." So while I may not have shelves here, I do have some pretty big walls to fill. Before Bruce left for Habitat on Saturday, I had him take the painting down to get a sense of the space.
And then we went on an airboat ride in Kenansville, Florida. Say what? Yup, one of the fellows here organized a trip to Wild Florida and twelve of us did something we'd never done before.

Unfortunately, unlike our typical lovely January days, the weather was, well, very Vancouver-like, with complete cloud cover and chilly. About 10 degrees warmer than there, but very chilly to a Floridian. Nonetheless, the trip was super good. It was Steve's idea.
And our sweet David drove us along with another couple. Their tagline is in the middle of nowhere and they are not kidding!
Mr. Peck wearing the ear muffs to block the crazy loud noise made by an airboat.
The boat we were on was much larger than this one we saw during our ride.
I took a whole bunch of photos that mostly were just okay, and if you are interested, here is the link, with Eagles, a huge flock of Sandhill Cranes, and other birds. Unfortunately, as we sat in the boat underneath the two Eagles, it began to rain. Not a hard rain, but OH MY GOSH, being in an open boat going super fast, was no one's idea of fun. It felt like little needles poking you in the face!

Eventually we got back to the dock, by which time the rain ceased falling. We all agreed that we wished we had gotten there early because we were only able to spend about twenty minutes going through the fantastic animal park. We definitely plan on returning another day. A Red fox!
From there we, or should I say, David drove us to Saint Cloud where we had a wonderful dinner at The Catfish Place, a restaurant that has been serving good food for 47 years. Delicious!

It began raining not long after we came home and only just quit early this morning. I am going to guess that is a record as rarely does it rain for nearly 36 hours straight! In any case, once home from church and following Bruce's nap, it was time to get that gallery wall together. Bruce had already dreamed up a layout which was waiting on the bed.
And how do you make something like this work? You have a Bruce around! Just kidding. Sort of.

He began the layout like this.
Lots of measuring is needed. Eventually the box was determined and he began hanging stuff,
And now it looks like this!!
Should you be wondering, that plastic branch thing came from an antique shop on Mills. The back is dated 1967, and it is by Dart Industries. The crazy painting of the couple is from the thrift store for $2, and although it is not normally my taste, I kind of like how it brings some cheer into our space.  Other photos are by yours truly. But the real work was done by my amazing husband who never lets me down when I have an idea that I cannot personally implement. :)

And now I leave you with the sound of cabinet sanding in my ears!!!!! Oh happy day.

yours truly,


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Long Beach, CA