Family Matters,  house stuff!,  painting,  the laundry,  the sticks

Pictures as Promised

installing a motion sensor light

Just like he said he would, my dad came home from jury duty and installed a new motion-sensor light in my backyard laundry area. It’s wonderful. When I walk around the corner the lights automatically come on for me and I no longer have to blindly swipe through the cobwebs to find the plug for the existing fluorescent light that plugs into a power strip that connects to an extension cord that runs from inside the house somewhere. I know it sounds Mickey Mouse. It is.

As you may remember, I’m living in my grandpa’s old place and everything has been rigged by him. He was the master inventor and also the original MacGyver. Well, not really but sometimes I wonder. Most of his inventions are very handy but sometimes they leave me scratching my head. Really, Grandpa? You strung a wire from here all the way to there and never worried about fire hazards? But hey, who has Christmas lights in their pantry? I do!

As my dad was futzing around with the wires on the motion-sensor light, he let out a familiar frustrated sigh. When I asked him what was wrong, he didn’t even have to answer. We both chorused the same phrase we always say over any project we do around this house.

“Nothing is as easy as it seems.”

It’s almost a formula for the jobs my dad sets out to do here. He’ll look at something, declare it an easy fix he can do in an afternoon and then head off to the hardware store for parts. Then he comes home and starts working. Right away he finds out the part he bought is the wrong part and back to the hardware store he goes. Half the time the hardware store people give him the wrong advice and the other half of the time it’s just the house’s fault for being old and incompatible with everything new. In the end he always manages to fix everything in the nick of time before he has to go back out on the road but everything always takes longer than he anticipated and he’s always late going back to work. His dispatcher hates me, I’m sure. I should probably bake him some cookies.

handy dad "Nothing's ever easy."

mint floor

Here is the floor my dad painted for me. I was going to take before photos of the water-damaged plywood because it was so awful I thought it might make a good background if I ever needed some stock art for a grunge/punk design job. True, I don’t have very many grunge/punk clients, but you never know. It’s always good to have a big library of background images on hand.

But then my dad surprised me and painted it while I was gone. I had told my mom that painting the floor was on my big important list of things to do. I was actually thinking of painting it something like this but I was procrastinating because the floor was in such bad shape. I knew it was going to take me forever to get it clean enough to paint. So I casually had mentioned to my mom that if my dad wanted to paint the first coat, I wouldn’t mind a bit.


Of course my mom took my casual request as something that must be done right away for their favorite paying renter and had my dad do it the minute he got home. So I’m not going to complain at all about the color or for not giving me a warning first. It’s cleaner and now I can send guests off to the restroom without having to apologize for the floor that might give them leprosy. Eventually I think I’m just going to put some groovy 70’s linoleum in there. The stenciled-floor idea is really fun and I’d love to do that someday but I know I’m not going to get to it. I have do other things, like work so I can keep paying my rent to my favorite landlords. Maybe I’ll let Bug go crazy with some pink paint.

Bug's Bathroom

She seems to be in charge of the rest of the decor.

What I really want to get rid of are those hanging-chain light fixtures. But they are not on my big important list of things to do. I’m sure if I fixed them then I’d want to change the counter and put in new faucets too and before you know it I’d be blowing so much money on this place I’d be stuck here forever. For now I am getting along just fine with my mint-green floor and my avocado-green tub.


Mostly because I am still on cloud nine over my oven.

lemon bar du jour

I’ve found that one can put up with a lot of things when one is surrounded by family one loves and an oven that bakes tasty treats. And yes, I did send my Dad off with a great big bag of cookies and homemade dinners that he can eat on the road. He earned them!


  • Katie

    yeay for the amazing dad!! :) and the wonderful light outside!! :) and of course baked goods (if you want to send any my way I won’t complain haha)

  • Clownfish

    How is it that just by reading about someone, you can like that person? I’d say it’s about the person and the writer. More so the person, for he is the one who inspires the writer. That’s the long way around to saying, I feel meeting your Dad, the pleasure would be all mine. Seems like a great person.

  • Michael Benbough

    Thank you for adding pic of your father…… is great seeing or at least hearing that now your home is safer , your pop looks fabulous, the year are not on him……………take care

  • Elizabeth

    I actually love the color of your floor. But then I am a green gal from way back. Your place looks better and better all the time!

  • LaurenC

    Yay for ovens and baked goods, and Dad’s who do amazing things.
    As if your Dad wasn’t cool enough for being a knitter, he also rocks as a handyman.

  • BeachMama

    Your floor is awesome :) Don’t even worry about the linoleum you won’t be there long enough to enjoy it ;)

    I think that your Dad will be enjoying his dinners on the road and thinking of how Blessed he is to have you as a daughter.

  • helene

    Hey brenda: your blog is always so much fun to read :) you are right, Uncle Coyle always had the best inventions. He was sure a great youth leader, even though he didn’t know he was one. :) I enjoyed many breakfasts in the Redwoods because of him.

  • Sarah

    Your Dad’s so multi-talented! I’m so pleased for you that you no longer have to walk through the spiders’ webs, because, ugh, it’s horrible feeling them clinging to your face!

  • TexasLea

    What a great Dad! Of course he has a pretty great daughter and granddaughter too. ;)
    In the pic of him smiling with the drill I can see the resemblence between him and Bug. There’s something in the grin that brings it out but I can’t quite place it.

  • Rebekah K

    I have that Hello Kitty towel! Love your photos in this post. I clicked over to see your floor inspiration (and then her floor inspiration) – awesome! Put it on the someday list. I would love to see your design take on the stencil thing. Adorable banner!