Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Progressive House!

Went back to visit a very cool little local thrift store/junk shop on the outskirts of town today on highway 395, 'The Progressive House'.

It's one of those old-school stores, a cross between grandma's attic, an eccentric yard sale and treasures found in an old barn.  The folks who run it give off a definite Hippie/Burner vibe and are very chill and fun.  When you first see the place it gets your attention right away:
 Flowers decorate the eaves all along the front...

One of the signs for the place was created using repurposed items and glass...

Another sign.
The also have 'Burma Shave' type signs all along northbound Highway 395 advertising their stuff nailed to various fenceposts.

We hauled along some outgrown clothing of the kid's to donate...

Their 'Open' sign.

One of the ladies there had painted this skateboard.

Then you get to go inside...

Cool door knocker.

And when you DO go inside...well let's just say that you can't look fast enough.

There is stuff hanging from the walls and ceilings as well as stacked on the floor and stuffed into every available nook and cranny.

Cool vintage lamps...my husband fixed me with a steely look and said, 'NO MORE FUNKY LAMPS'.

An old stump revamped into a costume jewelry rack...

Nothing is priced. When you ask how much something is, they smile pleasantly and ask you how much you think it's worth, and that's what you pay!

Someone has quite the eye for creating fun little scenes, and mixing modern with vintage.

A collection of vintage games and home movie equipment, it was like opening the hall closet door at grandma's house.

Love the Mid-Century Modern look of the logo on this projection screen.

A shirt signed & gifted to the shop by a tourist group.

The back of the store...
I struck out on what I had my eye out for--stuff for funky outdoor yard garbage--but the kid snagged herself some strange rubber duckies, and I unearthed a couple of old world atlases that will become origami and some fun chicken coop decorations...because what's the point of even having a chicken coop if you can't decorate it and make it into something silly?

More weirdness, and coolness...

Yeah, you never know what you're gonna fin--
Wait--'Leather Goddesses of Phobos'?!
While I stare goggle-eyed, husband shrugs and says, 'Oh yeah, that was a game.'

It's true, you never know WHAT you'll find in a thrift store...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy Anniversary, Time For Cussing!

After nearly 5 years in the house...got to do some quality cussing at the previous homeowners again today, yay!

The dishwasher, built in 1983 and here when we moved in, has been doing a lackluster job lately, and running vinegar through it and attacking it with a toothbrush and cleaning supplies didn't help this time.

Like, at all.

Going spelunking into the depths of the thing armed with a mirror and flashlight, I discovered that the three spray arms were looking gunky...like seriously gunky.

Like, 34 years worth of gunky. Terrific, previous owners never cleaned them.  I warm up my favorite cuss words.

So, away to the Internet I fly, to find the tech manual for my ol' GE dishwasher, because what I don't want to do is break off some 34 year old, impossible to find, no-doubt-brittle-as-an-old-ladies-bones vital plastic piece that holds the thing together.  The owner's manual, as typical for major appliances and cars, is useless when it comes to this stuff--it's gotta be the tech manual.

Success, I find it!
Uh huh.  As I suspect, the two end caps on the drawer slide that stop the upper rack from being yanked out of the thing require a specific way of removal, and are fussy and easily broken when new--never mind their dubious condition after 34 years.

When I return to the kitchen to inspect mine, to my delight and complete lack of surprise the fussy tabs have been already broken and just crammed back into position by previous owners, whee! Just getting started and this project is already fun! I get that familiar sinking feeling when dealing with anything the previous owners of this place inflicted on this poor house.

I read through the tech manual and further find that the upper rack MUST come out in order for me to be able to clean the middle spray arm as thoroughly as it needs.  What the hell, the end caps are already broken, so after carefully attacking the things with a screwdriver and some choice swear words they come out, huzzah.

At this point I decide to be smart, quit while I'm ahead and not take the spray arm off the rack--every single inch of plastic inside this ancient dishwasher is brittle and begging to break if I look at it wrong, and won't take the amount of enthusiastic twisting and pulling that removing the spray arm demands. I take the upper rack out and one of the wheels falls off--intact thank God, but the post it mounts to is pretty sad looking and shedding bits of plastic. Into the kitchen sink the upper rack goes, spray arm and all.

Armed with a mirror and flashlight, I inspect the spray arm, which hasn't been spraying lately...

And Jesus take the wheel, the thing is horrifically disgusting--caked with 34 years worth of calcified, fossilized crap that seems to be mostly hardened detergent and calcium deposits.  What follows is a solid hour of scraping, chiseling gunk out of the holes in the spray arm, rinsing it out, having it vomit up more hardened crap, prying & picking it out, rinse...repeat...

This nonsense goes on for quite some time. Eventually I find an actual small chunk of broken glass, which I think started it all way back whenever by causing a blockage that the fossilized crap cheerfully built on, and manage to pry it out of the spray arm's innards.  This is where I really break out the $2 cuss words and verbally cast doubt on the previous owner's parentage. Finally--joy, the thing allows water to run through it again!

One down, two more to go.

Both of those two require serious acrobatics to clean, haha. The top arm can safely be removed, thank heavens, with the aid of the mirror and flashlight combo again and only minor contortions, and is degunked in the sink after many minutes of chiseling/prying deposits out.  The bottom spray arms decides to be the fly in the ointment and resists all attempts at removal.  I'm loath to break the thing and turn this project into even more of a circus, so I leave it where it sits and instead take a deep breath and dive it to clean it in place.

After all this comes the easy part--basic dishwasher scrubdown and cleaning, which I've been doing all along since we moved in, so at least that part goes quickly. To my relief the fussy tabs meekly go back into position and hold in place with only minimal growling on my part but maximum 'Screw-you-just-get-IN-there' determination.

Now to push the button and run the thing on a rinse cycle so see how it fares...

And to wait for the other shoe to drop tomorrow when I'm wondering why all my muscles are so weirdly sore.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Origami On The Sly...

Welp, off to the dentist...they have their Christmas tree up, every year they have their patients who are scheduled take an ornament off their tree as a gift.

Today I'm going to sneak these two guys on to their tree and see if they notice. Heh...

I did the same thing at our local library last year, gotta get over there and add something else this year!

I've got a slew of other little doves that I hide in plastic Easter eggs to protect them against the weather and leave at the park and at other odd little places we stop by...loads of fun!

And just 'cause I like him so much and ran across him sitting on a table today, here is a very fancy turkey fellow I folded about two years ago.

So dapper--!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Etsy, I Am Here!

Finally got my origami shop opened on Etsy!  Now to see how it goes...

Here it is!

Gonna sell stuff like this...

and these...


Monday, October 23, 2017

No. 22 In The Series, 'Things You Do NOT Want To Touch'

Apparantly, 'Fall' to our chickens sounds a klaxon that screams, MOLT NOW! MOLT NOW! MOLT NOW!

The chicken yard is awash in feathers, and while most of the birds are --eh, kinda molting--while others refuse to...

Some take things way too far.

Tonight I went out to pass out some goodies and nearly screamed at Cluckadorkle--normally a fairly fluffy girl.

Yeah, right now she's a beige pincushion.

Then there's Pele, who molts heavily every single year.
She's working on her usual: molting out white feathers and growing in lavender ones.

When she realized I was taking pictures she ran and hid behind Milton.

Then there's nearly 10 year old Beauty, whom I swear has NEVER molted. Her feathers wouldn't dare fall out.

Although she looks pretty irritated to have everyone's molted feathers stuck to her feet like the rest of the chickens do...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Attack Of The Giant Chicken

Just now there was a fat housecat half-heartedly stalking birds in my front yard...

The sparrows were barking, alerting everyone to his presence.  Then the quail decided this was bullshit and really started after him, chasing him down...

Then my kid, who is home sick today and never got out of her pajamas, stepped out onto the porch dressed in a chicken onesie.

Once the giant chicken got involved that was it, that damned cat ran for the hills.  Doubt he'll ever be back.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Odds & Ends...

The kid worked her magic on a claw machine the other day at the grocery store and ended up with this guy...
Whom I promptly dubbed, 'Gotta Pee Duck'.  Although going by his shocked, glum expression of regret, it may already be too late.

Driving down highway 395 recently, I decided that this perfectly displayed how I felt:

Me on the left driving through the Owens Valley...me on the right when I discover it's on fire AGAIN.
This was one of those 'management fires', but they still make me uneasy--it's so easy for these to get away and out of hand.

Lastly, just wanted to let everyone know that Pele is holding with her own personal tradition of molting during summer while it's hot...and then taking her sweet time growing *new* feathers, waiting until the cold weather sets in.  And meanwhile looking like a Chernobyl victim.

Lordy.  Forty miles of bad road, right there.  Silly chicken.