A Muddled Day

Today, as Dad sometimes said, “Everything turned to mud.”

The day began with the last bowl of the black raspberries. The bushes planted themselves and ask for nothing from me. They are a gift I get every morning.


I tied up some string at 7:00 a.m. for the morning glories to climb because the leaves shade the kitchen windows and give the cats some shade when they go out the window into their pen. In two weeks, these windows will be completely covered.



I painted eight 1890 bent wood kitchen chairs black.  That took awhile.


I went to work on a big 1930 dining room cabinet that turned out nice. I varnished the interior and painted the outside with a rich green milk paint and a dark wax. All I needed was to put the glass back in the door and screw on two big, old, metal lion head drawer pulls that I’ve saved in the basement for a piece like this.

The basement is a lovely, cool place to work. But there is a problem. The fluorescent ceiling lights don’t work in July and August. I hired an electrician to work on them about eight years ago. He said there is nothing wrong with them and that it is impossible for them not to work for two months of the year.  Well, they still don’t work in July and August. I looked it up and it is a real thing. Something to do with the humidity.

Downstairs, one fluorescent tube out of  eight comes on. Hmmm, better than usual. I plugged in the magnifying worklight and I can kind of see the lines I marked on the trim boards that hold the glass in place. Then, switching the electrical cord from the light to the saw, I cut the pieces. Eight pieces. Perfect. I need to find a tiny drill bit and switch the electrical cord from the saw to the light. Now the light doesn’t work. Ten minutes of changing electrical cords and switching the light off and on, I see that I have a 1940 RCA table radio plugged in, not the light.  The cords were next to each other on the work table. It takes time for a tube radio to warm up so it never came on. Okay, not I’m back on track.

Back upstairs I walk past the eight chairs that I’ve painted black. They look funny. And then, it slowly, slowly, oh no, dawns on me that I have painted eight chairs with an unmarked can of black chalkboard paint.


So, I went outside for a while to think about an umbrella stand.

I’ve been trying to think of how to make an stand. Why don’t I just go buy one, you ask? Why would I spent 100.00 on a junk umbrella stand when the umbrella is junk.  Here is the plan: I lined a modern, well, 20-year-old umbrella stand with a thick clear plastic bag that fit it perfectly, taped down the edges, placed a heavy duty cardboard tube in the center and filled the area outside the tube with Portland cement. I really think this is going to work. Well, it might work.


Talk to you soon, friends. After a cup of coffee and supper, I’ll be back on the job.



25 thoughts on “A Muddled Day

  1. Gosh, no good deed goes without punishment, huh? Ginene, I think I’d throw that towel in and get a better start on August tomorrow morning. After all, it is a full moon, (blue moon at that!). Hope you’re doing well in spite of the nuisances.


  2. Hi Ginene sorry to read about your muddled day. But your black raspberries did look delicious, and I never realized that morning glory leaves are heart shaped like lilac leaves until I saw them in your beautiful pictures!!! And I must tell you I love the windows on your building!!!

    You certainly have much more energy than I have to do so much in one day!!! Hope tomorrow you have the opposite day when it all comes together and everything works out spectacularly!!! Hugs from CT!!!


  3. Oh my goodness! Well, you could always wax the chairs with a paste wax to seal the chalk paint. This little conundrum had me nodding my head and saying to myself that this calls for a glass of wine!

    You had asked about having a Scottie. They each have their own personalities, but for the most part, they are loyal, have one favorite person, are extremely loving and soulful and – ours at least – love to travel in the car. Ours aren’t barkers. They are not for small children as they can become a bit impatient. My husband researched their temperament before getting Duhgall. I’ve always wanted one and when he read about them, he was reluctant. But really, we could not have asked for better dogs. All three are wonderful, smart and low key. If you have any questions, please do email me.




  4. Oh no, does that mean you have to paint all those chairs again? Love the photos of the brambles and morning glories in growing. I must do that again next year! I love morning glories and indeed they seem to grow a foot a day. Had to smile at the cat peering through…despite the ‘muddines’ a lovely post my dear! Wishing you a lovely, tranquil weekend ;0) xo Johanna


  5. As usual, your day is full of energy. Even if you’re not completely satisfied you certainly accomplished quite a lot, Ginene! I recently paid to be able to pick blackberries, in the humid heat, ‘swatting bugs, at an area farm. You are so lucky to have your own personal supply. 😋 I’um curious about the “cat pen.” Does this pen allow your cat to step outside the window into the side yard; but stay within the pen?


    • I hope this link works, Joanne, or else you may have to cut and paste. Yes, I waited till these DIY storage bin things were on sale and then ordered them on-line. It cost me about 75.00 which is less than anything one could buy ready made or have made from wood. I secured each panel with one of those plastic pull ties that hold things together, just to make sure it didn’t blow away in the winter. I’ve had it two years and it is great. Last night, Emma, who found me and came with four kittens, ran past me and ran out the door. She refused to come back. This has never happened before in the three years since she showed up at the back door. I was really worried when she wasn’t outside in the morning. Two hours later, she comes walking slowly down the alley. Not hungry and not tired. Where the heck was she all night? Letting them out is dangerous, but they both go out everyday with me and we walk around. I like having the pen because they can go outside when they want to and I don’t have to worry. Some people use cat flaps and some people just open a window. Well, that was a little more than you asked for…

      The link didn’t work, Joanne, you can google: outside cat pen made from metal wire storage cubicle bins to see some amazing things people have done for second story city apartment buildings, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the tip, Ginene. I will look this up. We’ve “inherited” my daughter’s cat, El Señor Puff. He is an immigrant from Córdoba, Spain (THAT’S a story for another day) and never quite acclimated to the U.S.. Our street is rather busy for him to roam. A bit of fresh may do him well.😺


  6. I made a mental note to ask the color of the chaise—well, thus sounds like something only I would do because I get quick and impulsive (not to say we share this trait). Seal it, perhaps?

    Going to bookmark your morning glory training trick–they grow so quickly and are fun.

    The basement sounds haunted—stay clear.

    Jane x


  7. Ginene, I was hoping you would show a picture of the 1930 dining room cabinet! The handles sounded really interesting. With the chairs, you wouldn’t need place cards. You could simply write their names on their chairs! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A muddled day, is it? Well, it is another day for the magician, never mind the guffaw with chairs; it happens while juggling with too many things. The makeover of the umbrella stand is a dream. I hope it plays out a long innings. Those succulent raspberries are truly a blessing, and so are cheerfully greening morning glories. I am sure you are keeping the dining room cabinet for a later part of the show, to pull out as a kind of rabbit out of the hat…best wishes, Ginene… Raj.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ginene,
    Those black raspberries are just to die for, aren’t they? Just love where you live-the brick, the arched windows with morning glories, the kitty in the window-it’s so storybook! I kind of like the chalkboard paint on the chairs, if you don’t mind a little white dust on the backside; oh, the time you spent painting those-tortureous! I think sealing just the seats with some poly sounds like the quickest fix:)


    • I bought a pie safe last weekend for the shop and I am using blue, too. I decided on Soldier Blue from Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., they have been in business since the 1970s. It is a historic blue but can be mixed with white. That is what I’m going to use. I’d like to leave it the color it is, but I have to replace a leg….now that I’m thinking about it, why couldn’t I match the replaced leg and leave it with the old paint. Thanks for writing, Janice, you saved me a lot of work!


  10. First off, I have to commend you on your energy! I was tired just reading about your day:). And second, the chalkboard paint. Laughed out loud. It certainly is unique, right? You may have started a trend:).

    Liked by 1 person

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