The 2nd Floor Greenhouse Project – Days 2-3

The 2nd Floor Greenhouse Project – Days 2-3

This is where I’m at right now – nearly finished!

I worked at the greenhouse build in bits and bobs, about 45 minutes at a time over the last couple of days, and I’m pleased to say it’s nearly finished…. and I’m at a standstill because I”m out of plastic.

I have also yet to come up with a door solution – lots of ideas, though; I just have to test them once I’m plastic-enabled again.

This is a bigger space than the Belfry Greenhouse upstairs was (I had to dismantle that one in preparation for The Reno from Hell and believe me, I cried the whole time I was pulling it down), and I’m recycling the plastic used up there.

Still, the 2nd Floor Greenhouse is at least usable, now, so today I will spend my bits and bobs of time out there reorganizing and getting more seeds planted for the upcoming Tarmac Gardening Season. Below is a slideshow of the greenhouse build as I slowly enveloped it plastic…

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"The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs" is for sale in digital and paper formats at
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The 2nd Floor Greenhouse Project – Day 1

The 2nd Floor Greenhouse Project – Day 1

The time has come. The jumbled space you see above will soon make way for my second greenhouse build, on the 2nd floor balcony of my building.

This should have been done last fall, but The Reno from Hell (which is still, as I write this, the Unfinished Reno from Hell) was just beginning and I figured I would get at the greenhouse as soon as the 6 week reno was done.

Before the snow flew.

And then the snow flew and just kept on flying, long after Spring should have sprung, and the whole city has been depressed over it.

And the “6-week” reno is still not complete.

I’ve given up on the reno, but not the greenhouse, which would have made this just-past extra long winter a little more bearable, had I got the build done when I originally planned.

Anyway, today I start.

I lucked into a bag of insulation “ends” that was left outside next to my recycling split carts. Apparently, the erstwhile renovator decided that the City would take it with the household garbage – and that it wouldn’t be blown down John St. in a high wind. Both of these things proved false, but during the retrieval of the tumbleweed insulation, I decided I could put the ends to good use.

You can see my plan in the above photo – I don’t think I’ll even have to cut any insulation – just tuck it all up before I staple the moisture barrier over it.

By the end of today, I’m hoping that I’ll have the roof insulated and the end wall plastic up. The white plastic lattice will come down first (I have another use for that – several uses if I end up with enough lattice), and then the plastic will go up by various means, including a staple gun and sealing tape.

When I built my first greenhouse on the third floor balcony several years ago, I was pretty sure that staples and sealing tape would blow apart fairly quickly, but I was dead wrong. Over four years, all I had to do was patch a few holes in the plastic now and again. Hopefully, this level will hold up as well.

All of the junk out here is gardening junk. The Tarmac Garden in the parking lot has not yet been cleaned up after the winter, but most of this stuff can now be safely moved down and temporarily hidden under the back deck until the lot is shoveled and swept and planting can begin – aiming for no later than May 24th this year. We’ll have to see how that pans out.

So, as usual, I have a thousand small steps to take to get two tasks of this project done today. I generally fail miserably at scheduling, so I’m not sure it’s even feasible, but the sun doesn’t go down until 8:51 pm… how much do you think I can cram into 6 hours?

Stained-Glass Afghan

Stained-Glass Afghan

Stain-Glass Afghan

“Stained-Glass Afghan”
Taken March 8, 2014 with Samsung Galaxy S3

There’s something about March that makes me want to knit. Winter? Maybe…

Anyway, this is my latest knitting project. I was going for a “stained-glass window” effect, and I don’t think I quite managed it, but I really didn’t want to deal with a complicated pattern, since I like to knit while binge-watching Netflix, so that I don’t have to feel guilty for not writing anything other than blog-posts until after the date changes at midnight.
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The Next New Thing…

The Next New Thing…

Summer Daydream

“Summer Daydream”
Taken August 9, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Ky’s finally sleeping again, and is back to school for her morning classes, which is good. I’m assured by the school that she’ll manage to get those credits without a problem – music class, which is hardly surprising (the principal tells me she’d have passed that one based on her talent, never mind that she doesn’t bother with any assignments – I don’t know whether to be proud or pissed off), and geography. Now, that surprises me.

Two credits is better than no credits, though, I guess, isn’t it? I’ll try to be proud.

My own sleeping is not happening again, now. I’m a little concerned about my job. I’m getting there, but it’s difficult. Luckily, I don’t have to drive to get there, so no lives are in danger – unless I blow the place up, but there are safeguards in place against idiots, so maybe that’s not such a big worry…

I need to finish the latest novel. That’s that “hard” one I mentioned a while back. It’s still got a lot of the same elements that the sitcom had in it, but the entire pilot plot has pretty much disappeared, along with a character or two. I’ve kept the bare bones of what would have been the first season. I tried to change the main characters’ names, but they just will not be renamed. All I’ve managed to do is steal away their last names completely.

I had a lot of false starts trying to pick this project back up again. There was a time that I ate, slept and breathed it. That turned into boozing and smoking it, and I think I just wanted it to go away. Working on it kept bringing up nasty, bad thoughts that I didn’t want to think.

I lamented about this to Ky one day, and she surprised me by telling me I should be getting it done and over with. When I told her I didn’t want to listen/watch/write my main characters anymore, she rolled her eyes.

I told her I’d noticed she wore the one and only promotional t-shirt made for the project all the time, even though she’d once told me she was glad it was dead in the water so what’s up with that, huh?! And then, she made me laugh by paraphrasing Holden McNeil: “They’re fictional characters, Mom. Fictional characters. Am I getting through to you at all…?”

So I’m working on it. And it gets a little easier (and a little closer to done) every time I sit down to it.

My blog is turning back into a place to air my grievances, and although that’s part of what it’s for, I really want to get back to telling the Ruby stories (there’s a ton of them), and The Father Chronicles (there’s a ton of those left, too).

And I talked to my Mom today, and she’s feeling a little lost and lonely without my Dad. She said it’s gotten worse, lately, and she’s been rereading his letters from World War II. At first, they made things worse, but now she finds them a comfort and is glad she saved them…

Wait a minute…. “You have letters from Dad during the War…?”

“Yep.”

All his letters…?”

“Yep.”

Wow. I didn’t know this….

“Can I read them…?”

“Sure!”

“Really?!”

“Yep.”

“Ummmm…… can I blog them…?”

“Yep.”

So as soon as I can get myself down to Teeny-Tiny Town, I will have a new category here: Dear Maude…

Another worry is my imminent move. Far, far away.

I’m not certain how imminent it is, now, considering new and ugly turns of events of legal and financial persuasions that may (shudder) bankrupt me (not if I can possibly avoid it), but I will be moving to Vancouver and will be there for at least a year, once I manage it.

I’m going to be going back to school (yes, again), in an accelerated screenwriting program at the Vancouver Film School. I chose this program, because a Canadian school somehow seems more “doable” than trying to get into one in the States – although I’d rather be in the States. I have more friends there. 🙂

It’s going to cost me a mint, though. I don’t know where the money’s going to come from, yet, but then again, I bought the Prissy-Van with money I didn’t have yet, and so far, so good, she’s still mine. I’ll manage this. Somehow. Gulp…*

I didn’t think I’d be able to convince Kyla to go with me, so was working out an alternative arrangement for her, but when I told her about it (actually, I let it slip in a moment of upset over all this stress), she surprised hell out of me by telling me she would love a change of scenery.

It’s amazing how fast things change.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Black Coffee” – Ella Fitzgerald

In Pursuit of a Dream… Take 2

I have been forcibly “de-funkified”. I really should thank Carol for doing it with her nasty comments (and even nastier private emails), but I’m not quite ready to do that, because, truthfully, I don’t think I’m quite ready to be “de-funkified” at all.

But she’s right. Wallowing in it, publicly or privately, only makes things worse.

I still don’t have A Dream. So, I’m going to force one. And I’m going to be purposefully vague about it (sorry), because it’s an old dream, and only a couple of people know about it.

One of those people is the one that killed it. Granted, I let it be killed. I let it be killed because Way Back When, I didn’t have any guts. I don’t have any guts, now, either, but I intend to grow some.

Anyway…! On with it.

Way Back When, when the world was still new (1982, I think it was), I saved up $250 to help make my dream come true. A friend of mine, The Dream-Killer, boosted me along. I worked in a restaurant as a dishwasher for really crappy pay back then, and it was only part-time, since I was in school. Still, when I got that paycheck every week, all I wanted to do was buy jeans and party. The Dream-Killer would remind me about saving for my dream, and I would gratefully set aside some cash, and then steal beer money from my parents. Sometimes, I just cut out the middle step and stole beer instead. Even so, it took a long time to save up $250, let me tell you, but I did it.

I lived in a teeny-tiny town 50-odd miles East of here. I had to come up here to the Sault to plunk down my money and make Step One happen. The Dream-Killer came with me for support. We skipped school and hitch-hiked, of course. I wasn’t about to spend Dream Money on bus fare, was I? I wasn’t stupid.

Hitchhiking 50-odd miles sometimes takes hours. By the time we got here, The Dream-Killer had almost convinced me that The Dream was too big for me…

“You’re too young. No one’s going to take you seriously.”

“$250 really isn’t enough to do this with.”

“That guy is just looking for money. It’s going to turn out like shit.”

Almost convinced me. Almost.

And then, killing time until Step One would be underway, we wandered through the mall… and saw…

The Chair.


It looked a lot like this…

“Look at that chair! Don’t you love that chair?”

(It really was a cool chair. Yes, I loved that chair…)

“That chair would look sooooo gnarly in your room!”

(It really would…)

“It’s only $200! You should buy the chair!”

(I really wanted to buy the chair. But The Dream…!)

And then…

“You know… I don’t know how to tell you this… but… your stuff’s really not…. that… good.”

Poof!

I bought the chair.

My father worked up here at the time, piloting one of the Lock Tour boats, and reluctantly agreed to truck it home for me. Wicker chair… Open truck bed… My chair blew out of the back of the truck at about Echo Bay.

We got turned around to go recover it just in time to see another truck wing by us with my chair in the back! Pissed my dad right off.

He took off after this guy at breakneck speed, berating me the whole time for being so stupid as to spend $200 on a chair for Chrissakes, and now he had to chase it down the damned highway, and so help him God, if he got pinched for speeding, I was paying the God-damned fine.

He caught up to the guy and pulled up beside him. Waved.

The guy waved back.

My dad yelled at him to stop, God-damn it.

The guy wouldn’t stop.

My dad darn near ran him off the road before he gave up and pulled over, telling us he was “trying to catch up with us”… ?! The chair survived with nary a scratch or break, surprisingly, and the story is incredibly funny now, but only because I survived. I was certain through the whole “chase” that my dad was going to roll the truck and kill us.

We pulled into Thessalon an hour or so later; my dad with a snarl on, and me with a crushed Dream, an un-crushed chair, and $50 burning a hole in my pocket. I’m pretty sure I spent the $50 on beer. And probably grass, too.

Every time we had company over after that, my dad would tell The Chair Story, bring people into my room to show them The Chair, and beam as if me spending $200 on a chair fer Chrissakes was the most brilliant thing I could have done. Maybe a highspeed chase down Highway 17 East was one of his dreams, I don’t know…

A year and a half later, my first apartment went up in flames. Wicker burns really fast.

I’ve always regretted buying that chair and forfeiting what I thought at the time was a pretty good chance at a really big dream. I’m not really sure if my heart is in this yet, but I’m going to give it another go.

Step One is now actually Step Three – as the world has changed a little since it was new. I have changed a lot since the world was new, but I’ve already begun Step One. I’ve talked to some people, and got some advice. Step Two is coming in short order.

It’s going to cost a lot more than $250.

I know it’s a bit of a cheat to not actually detail this further, but I haven’t exactly grown those guts yet. And I hope some of you will wish me well anyway. Comments are welcome. No Dream-Killers will be taken seriously. I hope.

Random Song for the Day: “9 Crimes” – Damien Rice