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If we were having coffee: Stripping

Misty morning.
Misty morning.

In the oddity or maybe the miracle of life, the roots of something new frequently lie in the decaying husks of something old.

~ Craig D. Lounsbrough

Reflections in the marsh.
Reflections in the marsh.

If we were having coffee, I would be delighted to see you again.  Hugs if you’re amenable to them.  A handshake or a respectful nod if you’re not.  Come on in out of the fog!  After a taste of winter with lows in the teens and highs barely in the thirties, we’re warming up today and that’s created quite a thick and misting fog.  Let’s sit in the kitchen today where we can watch the Great Blue Heron and the Kingfisher as they look for food in the pond.  We might even see a deer or two.  They usually come out at dawn and dusk, and on foggy, misty days.

In the grasses.
In the grasses.

There’s coffee, tea (an assortment of black, green, and herbal), sparkling water (La Croix muré pepino — blackberry-cucumber), apple cider, hot chocolate, and the more potent potables (wine and beer, maybe some rum, and M’s homemade hard cider).  We also have hummus, pita, and vegetables to snack on or, if you’d rather, chips and salsa.  I’m afraid there are no sweets to partake of because I’ve been sugar-free since we finished off the birthday cheesecake (which wasn’t very sweet).  I know this is a strange time of year to be sugar-free, but I feel better without sugar in my diet.  I’ll probably have a few sweets over the holidays.  They’re hard to resist.

On the edge of the marsh.
On the edge of the marsh.

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Is this a crazy time of year for you?  Are you ready for any holidays you might be celebrating soon?  Have you traveled anywhere?  Seen any new sights?  Spent time with family or friends?  Have you gone on any good walks or hikes?  Read any good books or seen any good movies?

Dancing on the edge.
Dancing on the edge.

My reading has slowed down to a crawl lately.  I’ve been reading a John Grisham book, Sycamore Row.  I can’t remember the last time I read one of Grisham’s books.  I picked this one up for $2.00 somewhere, figuring it would be a fast and entertaining read.  It is both, but I just haven’t taken much time out for reading so it’s not going all that quickly for me.  I have been moving in and out of the reading habit lately.  Sometimes I sit and read for hours.  Sometimes I don’t read at all for a few days.  As much as I have always loved books and reading, there are so many other things I want to do that it’s difficult to fit it all in during the space and time of a day.

A threshold.
A threshold.

As for movies, M and I watched The Man Who Knew Infinity, a 2015 biographical film about Srinivasa Ramanujan, a brilliant Indian mathematician who ended up studying in Cambridge during the World War I period.  There is more to it than that, of course.  I thought it was quite good, and highly recommend it.

Red highlights.
Red highlights.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that it has been another relatively quiet week.  I spent most of it at home, the only outing being a day of meeting with a designer at a bathroom design showroom and some necessary shopping (groceries, Christmas, etc.).  M and I have finally nailed down the design for the master bathroom with the help of the designer and the carpenter who will be installing the vanity and cabinets.  As usual, we will be doing most of the destruction part of the work, the painting, and will be installing as much as we can (flooring, toilet, mirrors, medicine cabinet, and lighting).  The bathroom folks we hired will install the new tub, take care of the plumbing, put up new walls around the tub and shower, and install the new sink, vanity, cabinets, and countertop for the vanity.  Our design guy found a remnant piece of quartz (called “fairy white”) for the top of the vanity that is beautiful.

Where I started.
Where I started.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you (and show you) that I have been stripping off wallpaper in the master bath.  This is the third room of the house in which I’ve had to remove wallpaper and I’ve noticed that each room (or wallpaper) has had its own trick to it when it comes to removal.  It takes me a while to figure it out but once I do, it goes smoothly.  The first wall I attacked in the master bath was no exception.  It took me more than ninety minutes to remove a small portion before I caught on to the magic of how to strip it from the wall.  You have to heat the outside of the wallpaper and take that off first.  Then you can steam and release the paper portion behind it.  It peels off easily once you know the secret.

As you might have guessed, there used to be a second door in the master bath.  It opened out to what used to be the sun room, a very small space at the back of the house.  Those who have been following me at least since we moved to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch might remember that we had the sun room extended and turned into the man cave, and a porch (or “three season room”) put on the back of that.  You can find before and after pictures here, but I’ll show you what the sun room used to look like so you can see what used to be the door:

This was taken about a week or two after we moved in.
This was taken about a week or two after we moved in (May 2013).  The door is to the left.

The recessed medicine cabinet will go above the vanity and cabinets that will fit into the space where the door used to be.  We’ll have to hang some drywall, but not much.  Just enough to fill in the sides and top.  I’m happy about that.  We are experienced at hanging drywall, and it can be hard work.  That stuff is heavy!

An entrance to the woods.
An entrance to the woods.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that I still have some Christmas shopping to do.  I also hope to get started on cards soon.  Usually I send out New Year’s cards rather than Christmas cards so I still have a little time to get my act together in that regard.

Overlooking the dunes.
Overlooking the dunes.

If we were having coffee, it would be time to turn this over to you.  Thank you for stopping by for another coffee chat.  You are welcome to stay for a while if you’d like.  M is cooking today, and I think he’s going to make a butternut squash soup which we will gladly share with you.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he decided to bake some bread to go with it.

In the meantime, I have to get back to stripping (wallpaper, that is).  We have until January 23rd to get the room ready for the installation of the new tub, etc., which might seem like a goodly amount of time, but I can tell you from past renovation experience that time flies when you’re trying to get everything ready for the guys who are coming in to do the heavy work.

Beautiful evening on Assateague Island.
Beautiful evening on Assateague Island.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Waving goodbye.
Waving goodbye.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

12 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Stripping

  1. Since I am always drinking coffee all though the day, think of me when you sip 🙂 I love the photographs and your writing. Assateague Island is my & my husband’s favorite get-away each year.

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  2. I haven’t read Grisham in awhile, either. I am also a couple of books behind in the Harry Bosch series and several behind in one of the James Patterson series that I like. Those never go on sale on Kindle so I may not be able to get them as there’s only money for essentials these days.

    A spray bottle with hot/warm Downy fabric softener does wonders for removing wallpaper. Just spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes. It loosens enough so you can just scrape it off. Happy bathroom prepping!

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  3. It’s very cold and white here today, despite the sun that has appeared after being absent for several days. As a result, I’m staying inside, no venturing forth for me, and enjoying your photos of a warmer place.

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  4. I love apple cider, thanks. I’ve read several of Grisham’s books when I was still in college and I think I still have one on my shelf that I haven’t started. I might be adding it up to my reading list for next year. I streamed The Man Who Knew Infinity online a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was a good film. 🙂 Have a great week ahead.

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  5. Hi Robin! Hope the stripping (of wallpaper) 🙂 is going well. I don’t envy you that job–or the remodeling process, but I’m sure the result will be well worth it. We did some remodeling of our bathroom a few years ago, but we only have one bathroom in the house, so it wasn’t major–new tiles and tub. Our contractor friend would put the toilet back each day before he left, and I showered at the gym a few days.
    Thanks for the movie recommendation. I remember when it came out, but we didn’t get a chance to see it then. We just saw La La Land a couple of nights ago.
    I finished reading The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. It’s one of my older daughter’s favorite books.
    I hope you get a break to watch the Great Blue Heron while you sip something warm.

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  6. i admire your can-do spirit, Robin. I’m not much interested in home projects, I don’t have the patience for it. I get frustrated when the inevitable glitches happen. 😉 I bet the end result is going to be beautiful.
    I only read just before bed and if I have insomnia. Unfortunately, that’s a lot lately. Getting up early to go to work on not-enough sleep stinks big-time. The way it is!
    I’m reading ‘Buddha in the Attic’ about Japanese picture brides at the beginning of the last century. Not a cake walk for most of them. I’m up to the internment camps during WWII. (At to think Mr. T. wants to do practically the same thing to our Muslim communities. It is outrageous.)
    I hope you have a pleasant and love-filled holiday week. Happy Solstice!

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  7. Happy holidays to you, Robin! I understand perfectly your wallpaper removal dilemma. We had to remove wallpaper from nearly every wall in our house when we first moved in back in 1994. It had been the model home and all the wallpaper had been applied directly to the drywall, so it sometimes came off in tiny bits.

    That movie was one of my favorites this year. I hope you stay warm and cozy over the holidays. 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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