There is a new kitchen project underway here. My kitchen and dining room are in complete disarray right now.

I hired Nathan the new maintenance man to paint areas of the kitchen and to put up shelves on two walls.

He went with me to Home Depot and we bought four shelves that were four feet long.

He only had time to fill holes and spackle yesterday. Today he will paint.

So I’m hoping to show you that project in the next few days.

Tomorrow our four-plex is scheduled to have the insulation blown in.

White candles on a platter

I look at this photo and think: why, oh why did I paint the living room walls in a semi gloss paint? I think I got confused when I was buying paint last year.

I had just gone through the debacle of taking off the so-called temporary wallpaper, which if you recall tore up the wall. I like to never figured out a way to fix it so I could paint over the mess.

I had to order a special application made by Zinsser.

It sealed up the wall where the wallpaper wouldn’t come off. I had to call Zinsser to help me figure out what to do.

If you find yourself in this untenable situation, here’s what you want to get:

Zinsser Gardz

So beware putting up temporary wallpaper. This stuff was harder to take off than regular wallpaper, and I’ve done both. If you aren’t sure how strong the materials of your wall are, such as in a rented apartment, beware of wallpaper.

I recall how frustrated I was trying to patch those holes after I scraped and scraped that wallpaper. It was not at all a fun project and I hope to never do that again.

My Charlie Boy:

Charlie boy on the couch

We took my Charlie boy with us to do these errands because he gets spooked when he coughs. I didn’t want him to have a coughing fit with me gone. So I just carried him around Home Depot.

He is having less coughing fits, but he wants his mama when he gets scared. Even if he has to go into stores, which he’s never done before. He was just happy to be with his mama.

He threw up once in the middle of the night. Maybe it was the change in our schedule yesterday.

We old folks have a hard time when our schedule abruptly gets changed.

Ivy Lou:

Ivy has this new habit where she puts this one toy in their water. Sometimes she puts it in Charlie’s food. I have no idea what that’s all about.

This is the toy:

Spring cat toy

When you take them apart they look like this:

Spring cat toy

A package of these was only $1.79 at I was ordering dog and cat food and I think these were on special that day or something. Ivy loves them.

She carries them around, puts them in the bath tub, drops them in the water bowl. And plays hockey all over the apartment with it.

Last night she wouldn’t leave the front of my washer. So I got my yard stick out and swept it around. Finally I knocked the toy out.

I knew nothing else was likely under there because I had moved the washer away from the wall the night before and cleaned underneath it.

Ivy walking with cat toy

Last night I saw her jump in the bath tub with one of these toys. She dropped it in the tub.

Then she immediately picked it back up and jumped out of the tub with it in her mouth.


There seems to be no rhyme or reason to her actions. I guess it’s called “just being a cat.”

Ivy on the coffee table

Ivy Lou sure keeps me laughing, that’s for sure.

She’s taking a little nap now. She woke me up to put dry food in her bowl. Then I got back under the covers.

Just about the time I got comfortable she was poking at me. I was completely covered, but that does not deter her. She stuck her head under the covers and started meowing at me.

I know now why I’ve heard this phrase all my life: “A cat is a cat and that is that.”

Now isn’t that the truth?

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  1. One of our cats carries a “toy” mouse or other small cat toy around in his mouth, meowing as he goes. Then after he goes through the house a few times, he will leave the mouse in their food bowl. It’s the equivalent of catching a mouse, killing it, and bringing it to the one he loves. (In our case, he loves his feline brothers and sisters. Ivy is showing Charlie that she loves him.

  2. Hi Brenda, I really love your blog, and now I looking forward to seeing your new shelves in the kitchen. I’m sure will look gorgeous! With all your pretty stuff and now with Christmas ornaments, just can’t wait ?. Wishing you and Charlie and Ivy the best!

  3. this post and the last… and all of them really are heartwarming. wise. beautiful. and so needed.
    bless beloved little Charlie. and Ivy. and the spirit of Abi… never very far away.
    I get so caught up in the world’s woes that your posts are a breath of fresh air.
    I would rain all over the state of California ~ enough to put out the fires if I only could. and provide safety for all those suffering animals and people. thank you Brenda for the respite of A Cozy Little House. it helps.

  4. Can’t wait to see your new shelf and how you decorate it. I live in a Mobile Home and have some build-in shelves in the living room that I want to paint and I have been on the internet looking for ideas.

    So glad Charlie was able to go with you to the store. I am sure he was so happy to be with his mama. Hope is cough is better today.
    Love reading about Ivy Lou’s antics. That new toy looks interesting.

    Wishing you and your fur babies a wonderful day.

    Marilynn and Hayley

  5. Oooh, I love when there is decorating, etc. going on at your place! I’ll be anxious to see the results.

    Yes, a cat IS a cat, and that is that. So true– a law unto themselves! I can just imagine how funny some of her antics are. It’s been so long since I was around a kitten or young cat so I love reading about the funny things Ivy Lou does. And I bet she doesn’t mind staying by herself at all, right? They are a law unto themselves for sure.

    I bet Charlie looked cute walking around the store with you. Did anyone stop to talk to or pet him? And it sounds like the store either didn’t notice or didn’t mind him “shopping” with you. I sure hope he gets to feeling a lot better soon. Does the coughing make him throw up? Poor baby.

    I have so many handyman projects around here I would like to have done. But, I really can’t afford to have anyone do them. I think the only reason I’d want a husband is if he was handy at fixing/building things! Isn’t that awful to say? But, truly, I could put up with a lot of things if I could get that kind of work done!

    Well, the start of another week. A cold one until the end of the week. Nothing particular planned this week til my second oldest grandson’s b’day party on Sat. He turns seven. Amazing how fast they grow. He’s a blond little boy who likes to wear his hair long. His daddy’s hair is long and he likes it to look like his. Some people mistake him for a girl but that doesn’t seem to bother him. Of course he’s always been told that he could dress and have his hair any way he wanted to as long as it was clean and neat. He’s had it cut two or three times and looks really cute, but he always grows it out again!

    Looking forward to the “shelf reveal”! Hugs to you and pats to Charlie and Ivy Lou.

    1. I’ll be glad to get it all done and cleaned up. But during the week Nathan won’t have much time to work here. He’ll do most of it on his weekends. I feel the same about a man living with me. I don’t think I could do it again. And I never managed to find one who had these skills. No one said anything to Charlie in the store. But they did outside.

      1. Yeah, regarding having found a man who was handy at fixing/building things, I had no luck, either! My ex-husband sometimes tried to fix things but usually he just gunked them up with GOOP or something!

  6. The simply and easy thing our two younger cats just LOVE playing with, since they were kittens (and they still do) are pipe cleaners! We take them and twist the ends so they are in a circle. Those cats just love carrying them around, dropping them, playing with them, carrying them some more, putting them in their food or water dishes and scooting them underneath the furniture (then I have to get it out)… as they do like Ivy, sit there and look at it or look at you and then where it went under something. Just a simple and cheap “toy” and gives them hours of fun. Ivy is such a pretty girl and hope Charlie gets to feeling better.

    1. She does all of those things. I just can’t figure out what the point is. I guess just to play and see it move and chase it. Not that a cat needs a point!

  7. Looking forward to seeing the new kitchen project!
    Hope Charlie will soon be better it probably frightens him when the coughing starts and affects his breathing .
    Glad that you take him with you on your trips when you can .Wonder what Miss Ivy Lou does while he is gone would be interesting to have a deer camera up so you could watch their antics .I think Walmart sells them or maybe Amazon .They are used in woods by deer hunters to watch the deer .I hate to see the lovely creatures killed it breaks my heart but lots of deer hunters out there .
    Take care of yourself and your babies and don’t overdo .

  8. LOL- Yep- A cat is a cat and that is that! They are hysterical though. While I love dogs and the way they interact I am really fascinated by the way a cat’s mind works…lol

    I will be looking forward to seeing your kitchen redo. xo Diana

  9. Poor Charlie! I do hope he gets better soon. I know he’s tired of being sick! And that cat…she is too funny with her antics!

    Good to know about that Zinsser product. I’ve never seen that. Textured walls are such a pain sometimes because you never know how paint is going to look or how things are going to adhere to them. I like using command strips to hang things…sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t! UGH! Can’t wait to see the new paint! Love and hugs!

  10. My cats and fosters love, love the springs. Like you, I but the fat ones. The skinny, longer ones don’t roll as much.

  11. I’m having my kitchen & family room finally painted this week. I also ordered a 5 foot long shelf from my girlfriend’s husband. It’s gonna be a long week, but so worth it.

    I also glad to hear that they will be blowing insulation into your building. It’s about time!! Hope you save a lot of money this winter & from here on in!!

  12. Brenda you’re always up to something and it’s always something good! Looking forward to seeing your latest project. Your Charlie boy is a cute boy. Was wondering if Ivy says ‘meow’ very often?

  13. I hope your kitchen project turns out well. I think you will like your shelves. Our house was painted with the same dull khaki color of semi-gloss paint in every room when we moved in two years ago. It’s very strange — a dull color that is shiny! I’ve repainted several rooms in satin paint which looks better. Glad you have a maintenance man to help you. That Ivy is a very clever and creative cat. We saw a female tuxdeo cat yesterday named Marbles who was a busybody, and maybe she could liven up things at our house the way Ivy does at yours. We sure need a critter around to get Calvin the cat moving.

  14. I’m so glad that you found someone to help you paint Brenda!
    I hate to paint but I love the results afterwards! I don’t like ladders, but I found a step stool that makes me braver! ?

    I can’t wait to see the results of your kitchen!
    Have a great day!

  15. It is great that you found your helper Nathan! I look forward to seeing the new project.
    Yes, Ivy is just being a cat, practicing her “predator” skills!

  16. I can’t wait to see your shelves in the kitchen, and how you will “decorate” them. You always have such good ideas. Ivy sure is fun to read about. Funny how she knew that her toy was hiding someplace around the washer. Yep, A cat is a cat, and that is that…Love that cute saying. Have a great Sunday, with Charlie and Ivy…Hugs,Bonnie

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