Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why checking for local restaurants before you move is important.

I had a panic moment today. This was spurred by the state of my kitchen, or more specifically my lack of kitchen. Here's what it looks like before I discovered the floor under the water heater was rotting out:

 And after:
Notice the excellent cat proofing barrier in from of the floor hole!

No matter how you swing it I have no cabinet space. I can't use much of the upper cabinets as the shelves are quite shallow and only about 8 inches tall. The bottom is hopeless until I have time to sand them clean. Also they don't open very well and I would rather use my makeshift pantry shelves then wrestly with those few drawers. They will be removed to fix the floor and i'm still not sure if I will attemp to refinish them or just tear them apart and repurpose the wood.

But back to my adventure. I was almost home after a long day and the very idea of cooking just was not going to happen. I love to cook but to even hunt up a pan, much less a full meal of food, takes far longer and far more effort than it should. A mile from home I decided I wanted Chinese. Then it hit me: DOES VERNONIA EVEN HAVE A CHINESE PLACE?!?! The panic set in. We really don't have much up here in the way of food. The closest fast food joint, a Dairy Queen, is 17 miles south. I took the main road through town ticking off places:
  • (tiny) grocery store
  • mini mart
  • coffee place
  • Mediterranian theme place
  • pizza and burger joint
  • 2 bars

This isn't good. I arrive at the other end of town and turn down a side street to turn around. Then I see it: on a residential looking side street, in an unremarkable building not at all resembling a restaurant I notice a sign. It has Chinese symbols on it. VICTORY!!! I got my crab puffs, orange beef, and fried rice. Oh sweet greasy delights! Good thing to because I was seriously considering selling and moving back to Portland. On the way back I noticed a Mexican place is about to open. Pizza, Chinese, and Mexican food in town. I guess I don't need to sell after all.

PSA to you kids out there. Checking your spelling is very important. Because if you don't one day you might end up with such gems on a menu you write:
  • Human Beef
  • Shrimp and Chicken Human style
  • (my personal favorite) one of the dishes is served in a Spicy Human Sauce

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Little Red Hovel

Last month, on 2/24/12, I bought a house in the tiny town of Vernonia, Oregon. It's more a hovel than a house and needs more work than I care to think about. The shake siding is dying and falling off in bits, I have a 3'x3' section of floor rotting out in my kitchen, the electric is out dated and bits of the previous owners DIY wiring is so dismal it can't be saved. The 3rd day in while pulling down faux wainscotting so horrific it is barely a stop above cardboard I almost electrocuted myself when I uncovered the remains of a wall heater. All that was left was the metal casing (a 2'x1' metal box) and bare live wires sticking out of the wall. That was an adventure. It took me hours to rip up the wall to wall carpet that reeked of animal urine and looked had stains in the most disturbing hues.
The beauty is that I uncovered beautiful hardwood floors that I am currently refinishing. I'm doing this by myself, a hour a two a day after work with an old Craftsman belt sander. If you ever get the urge to try it this way DON'T! It takes forever. It is a necessity for me as I:
  1. Don't want to spend the money to have a professional do it when I am quite capable of doing it myself.
  2. Using one of the rented 'proper' refinishing sanders from Home Depot would no doubt be much faster but the floor has uneven spots and little bits that I have to concentrate on which is much easier and more effective with a belt sander.
It's still a gigantic pain in the ass. Here's hoping the floor will be worth it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Inauspicious Beginning
You know you live in the country when you almost hit a nutria on your morning drive. The sight alone is more powerful than the best cup of coffee. Suddenly in the head lights looms a shape, like a giant beaver with a rat's tail. In the middle of the farking road! Thank goodness for a wide shoulder for I would have happily crashed to avoid hitting the animal. Not because of cuteness factor mind you, but because the immediate reaction when you see the equivalent of a giant rat front of you is to AVOID!
This happened a week ago and along with a few other experiences have convinced me it's time to start a blog. I'm really a DIY and craft freak who feels the urge to share my strange and unusal ideas and creations. So why a near nutria experience finally convinced me to get my butt in gear and create this blog I don't know. Perhaps future posts will explain? Maybe it's a mystery of the human mind we will never fully understand? Or maybe i'm just weird and random.