Odds & Ends (and, an oddity or two)…

Today is Q&A time – about all the odds & ends I have left hanging out there.

But, first up, let’s get the oddities out of the way.

Today is August 21st, 2017. It is the day of the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017!  I would call the total solar eclipse one of the most interesting oddities in Mother Nature. I love oddities. This is definitely my thing! So, the question of the day is…

Why-oh-why, did you not spend the day in Wyoming (or Nebraska) experiencing this once in a lifetime odd event given it is just a few short hours by car of where you live?

The simple answer is that I am a procrastinator. I had a tentative plan. I requested the day off of work. I tried to find somewhere to spend the night, but there was nothing left by the time I started looking. Then, I decided we could just drive somewhere the morning of the eclipse, spend a few minutes in total darkness, experience the event, and drive home in time for dinner. I thought this was a great idea. After all, I had the day off and nothing else to do. I told Tad the tentative plan. He was definitely not on board. I think it was the getting up in the middle of the night, driving for several hours in likely heavy traffic, and possibly missing the eclipse anyway if traffic was really bad. Tad does not get excited about odd things like I do. So, two minutes of odd was not enough to convince Tad to go on this day trip with me. So, I thought I would just head out on my own. It could still be kind of fun? As the day neared, the final deciding question of whether or not I would be experiencing this 2 minute once in a lifetime event was “Is sleep more important than 2 minutes of total darkness in the middle of the day?”

Yep. Sleep won out. I know. What is my deal?! I wanted to go, but I love sleep. I have missed out on a lot of sleep in my lifetime! Sleep is very important to me. I am not one of those people who lives by the “I can sleep when I am dead” mantra. Anyway, post solar eclipse I am ok with the decision. Plus, I did a quick google search and discovered that there will be a 2024 total solar eclipse in Rochester NY. Tad has family in Rochester! And, in 2045 there will be a total solar eclipse right here in Colorado. It can’t get more convenient than in my own backyard! That will likely be my final chance to experience total darkness in the middle of the day. I won’t miss it – unless, of course, I am sleeping :)

Once I got over the disappointment of being a procrastinator (and choosing sleep above all else), I realized I could still make the best of this day. I showed up at my dentist appointment early and told them that I needed to get out of there ASAP – so, no X-rays, no doctor exam, no fluoride – just the basics. Yes, I had a dentist appointment today – on Total Solar Eclipse Day. I seriously don’t know what is wrong with me sometimes!

Last night somebody on the news said that the eclipse here in Colorado would be like it is at dusk. He was wrong – in my opinion. I would compare the 2 minutes of “total” eclipse here in Colorado to sitting under our courtyard shade screen.  A bit like it is when it is hazy, but without the actual haze. Then, the light had a golden feel, but not like the “golden hour” at dusk. It was like being in a golden city – kind of like what I would imagine Emerald City to look like – a bit odd, but golden nonetheless – if Emerald City (and the Wizard of Oz) were real.

So, here is what Colorado felt like during the solar eclipse of 2017…

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I don’t know. It looks mostly like it does any other day. Maybe, the “golden” thing was in my imagination?

Anyway…

Now to the Odds & Ends (and other lesser known oddities)…

Did you win the garden contest?

The good news is that I didn’t lose! So – no, I did not win the contest. However, I have had a bit of an interesting garden year. It has been very unusual…

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That is an upside down purple pepper! I realize it is doesn’t really compare to the solar eclipse, but still a bit odd, I think. In case you are wondering, it tasted just like a right side up pepper :)

Is your blueberry bush alive and well?

Yes – yes, it is. It hasn’t grown much and hasn’t produced any blueberries, but it is still alive. The oddity here is that it is still alive! Odd or not, that is a win in my garden book!

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Other than the upside down purple pepper and a surviving blueberry bush, what other contributions have you made to the outdoor scene this summer?

I, maybe, saved a bee and cheered up somebody’s day with some alley sunflowers. Somebody might consider this odd. In my mind, every little bit counts. I am willing to risk being thought of as odd if there is even a slim chance of saving a bee or cheering up just one person’s day.

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Again, it isn’t a total solar eclipse, but it is a line through one of the items on the To Do List.  I spruced up a drainage swell in the front yard. The exciting part of this project was crossing it off the To Do List…

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Our outdoor room (aka courtyard/patio) got some added pep! On a recent out of town trip, I added to my collection of blown glass patio decor…

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and a striped pillow or three.

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Speaking of outdoor living space – I started a renovation of our patio art table…

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I say started because I think it needed an update from it’s original design. I still think it needs something more, though. It is missing color, maybe?

Ok – so – this hasn’t been one of my most productive summers.

And – frankly – the anticipation of the solar eclipse thing kind of overshadowed everything anyway.

Did you find something sculptural for the living room wall – above the wallpaper art?

Yes – I did! We were wandering around a local art show this summer – and it drew me in.

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Handmade and very cool. Maybe, a little odd in some people’s (design) book…

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It’s a bat.

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It’s a totally cute bat!

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I seem to recall another bat decor item in your house? You seem to like bats? What is up with that?

I don’t particularly “like” bats. It just so happened that a couple of bat type items crossed my path – and I like those bats for their uniqueness. Though, I like that real bats control insects and stuff. I like that about bats.

Did you ever get the hardware installed for your guest bedroom built in and closet?

Yep. We went with simple in an oil rubbed bronze finish. I love this built in. There isn’t enough room in our guest room for a dresser or any other kind of furniture storage. We thought a built in and a smaller area for hanging clothes was the best utilization of this closet space. It isn’t completely finished – we want to now install some lighting, but at least the hardware is installed. Every little step gets us closer to the finish…

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Why did you not have lighting installed for the built in during the recent renovation?

Good question. It is kind of a long story. The short version, though, is that plans changed mid construction. More on that in the future.

Is the bathroom finished?

I think we last left off waiting on hardware installation, the mirror, and some artwork. So – the answer to this question is “Yes, it is mostly finished”…

Finally finished too...

The cabinet hardware was easily installed once I procured the longer screws.

Tile Close Up...

The frame for the mirror was started by Tad, but finished by the woodworker who built the vanity and bedroom built ins.

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A photo of a little girl playing the violin for a cat and two dogs was framed and hung.

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A huge nutcracker King rules the room…

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Is that you playing the violin for the cat and dogs?

Ha – you aren’t the first to ask that same question! No, it isn’t me, but I can see why you might ask – given the antique nature of the photo – and my age…

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Why don’t you just take a picture of the finished bathroom and call it good?

I know, right! I have tried taking those exact pictures you speak of. It is impossible to get decent pictures of this tiny space with my little non professional point and shoot camera. I think a video tour of the room might be better to show you around.Yes, I think a future video tour of the new bathroom is in order – stay tuned for that!