LOVE SHACK PROJECT- I FEEL LUCKY!
May 7, 2012

I was reflecting on all the positive people I  encountered this weekend;  and every day for that matter, and feeling really lucky.  I’ve listened to many of the popular self-help guru’s out there, and  agree with them for the most part– but ever since I took action and moved,  there’s been a kind of shift!    As if I’d turned a corner, and suddenly everything went from grey to color!

Friday I found a  small glass shop where they could cut replacements for the 2 slats of glass I  broke moving in.  ( It’s not a party until something breaks, right? )    Tiny Yolanda, cut my glass in all of 3 minutes for only 6$ each!!  Who  knew  glass was so easy to cut!

Then I met up with Martha, who had come to collect  my  “for free” listing on Craigslist ( you cant’s just take from the circle of life- you have to give as well!)  It was a box of beads, crafting supplies, and intentions that never manifested.  Martha does craft project with her daughter, and was so happy with my treasure trove of beads, she  gave me a big hug.    What a sweet lady!

Friday night I took a break, and went to see my beautiful and exquisitely talented friend Juliet in a play.   This is the 3rd  play I’ve seen her in, and each time am so impressed with her talent and versatility.  And not only is she a talented actress,  but also  an amazing soul,  and  an army  onto herself of productivity and organization.    Every time I see her, I’m inspired on so many levels.

Saturday, Remarkable Rita, a friend for many years,  came over to see my place and  brought me a 4 beautiful rose trees, lavender, and geraniums!   WOW!  We had a really nice visit and she even bought me lunch! How cool is that,  plants and lunch!

Sunday I met up with Ames and his wife, – a super  cute and positive couple with the best yard in Lareda Heights- and they gave me a huge papyrus tree, and beautiful pot and flower seeds!! WOW!

It was  a really  good week-end and I have enough plants to create a beautiful oasis!   Los Angeles is full of angels!  They’re everywhere!  You just have to  open your  eyes!

I feel  lucky!

THANK YOU!!

Here are some pictures on the Rose trees and  Papyrus  tree!

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LOVE SHACK PROJECT – STILL HAULIN’ DIRT!
May 4, 2012

Feeling somewhat recovered from my overexertion,  I was ready to get back to work on the back yard!    First, I finished laying the bricks at the end, by the fence;  and in a weird little accidental miracle or perfect planning,  used every single brick!   I didn’t have any left over and didn’t need any!!   I have no idea how that worked out so perfectly!     However, I did need more dirt!

So it was back to Awesome Al’s construction site for another  load of dirt. (Hopefully my last– because  I’m really, really  tired of hauling dirt!!)  Proving that chivalry is not dead,  Awesome Al shoveled and loaded   4  full wheel barrel’s of dirt into my truck;  all while wearing his dress shoes!    What a nice man!

I got back home and used some of the dirt to re-pot 2 of the plants from the weekend into bigger pots, ( they thanked me), and then emptied the rest into the backyard.   And then, finally….. I planted something!!  I planted the Bougainvillea Bush from Marvelous Melissa at the end of the yard by the fence.  I think it will look pretty there when it grows in.   YAY!   Its starting to look really nice!

Now I have to decide what to plant along the  brick wall?  Something tall and thin, for privacy.

Here’s a couple of pictures of the dirt pile in my truck and the end result!

LOVE SHACK PROJECT- EVERYTHING HURTS!
May 3, 2012

After yesterday’s very productive day of brick laying, vlogging, blogging, and a dinner date with my Love- I was feeling pretty invincible!   I am woman, hear me roar, and all that stuff!  However, this morning all  I was feeling was, boy am I sore!  Every single part of my body hurts!   Even my thumb muscles hurt!   Obnoxiously  reminding my that I’m not as young or as strong as I think I am.  Ok, point taken!

So instead of hauling more dirt today, I  try to take it easy  and  just run errands to collect the various supplies I need from Home Depot, Big Lots, the 99 cents store,  and visit the Habitat for Humanity store.  Even just my errands  seem exhausting!   Still, I can’t  resist taking another pass at the weeds in the rose bushes, doing my  internet show, and then taking a walk!  ( It’s really  hard to stop and smell the roses, when there’s weeds to pull!!)

Why do I have such a hard time relaxing?    I’m always advising others to; take it easy, don’t burn yourself out, listen to your body—  and yet,  have such a hard time taking my own advice?     Why is it so difficult to give yourself the same kind of support and care that you easily give to others?    Is this another lesson the universe is sending me?   Moderation?  Love yourself?  Oh gosh- this is gonna take a while, isn’t it?!

Luckily, I’m blessed with many loving and supportive people in my life- ready to slay  dragons for me if needed!    Thank you , my knight in Shining  armour! —  I’m gonna try and follow  some of my own advice now… ( why is that soo hard?)  & give my body some love & streching for my  aching muscles.  Baby steps!

Here’s one of the rose bushes!

LOVE SHACK PROJECT- BRICK BY BRICK
May 2, 2012

After getting sidetracked all week-end with carloads of shelves and plants , it was time to turn my attention back to the dirt pile waiting patiently in the back yard!   After seeing my post, several of you  advised that I should have a barrier of bricks between the house and the dirt.

That seemed like a  pretty good suggestion, so it was back to the Craig’s list free section, searching for bricks.  Not wanting to disappoint me, or have my house rot;  the universe led me to Awesome Al in Marina Del Ray.  Al is building his dream home for his three children and is  eco-concious;  so he’s listed his left over building materials, so that they dont go to waste!

Al was super  nice and helped me load up a huge load of bricks into the back of my truck.  He also suggested I check out Habitat for Humanity  for some home renovation treasures( tomorrow’s adventure),  and sent me off with several packets of hot chocolate!  ( Which I’m drinking as I write this!)

I got home,  unloaded the bricks into the back yard, and started digging a small channel along the wall.  I sprayed down the  whole area with Ortho Home Defense Max, before laying down 3 rows of bricks on top of each other along the length of the wall, so that the bricks were level with the dirt.   I was a little daunted at first, but I just went brick by brick, and  it didn’t take as long as I had expected and  turned out pretty good!  Not bad for a days work!  ( And another life lesson)

Now I can actually start planting things in there!

THANK YOU for the bricks and hot chocolate AL!  🙂

LOVE SHACK PROJECT- DON’T PEE ON MY PORCH!
May 1, 2012

My little cottage had been vacant for quite sometime before I moved in;  and apparently it’s porch had been a frequent pit-stop for transients and vagrants.   My second night here, I surprised one gentleman in the middle of loosening  his pants with,  “Please don’t pee on my porch”,  through the window!   He left pretty quickly, and I hoped that was the end of it, until  Sunday morning I woke up to find  trash and salsa all over my porch from someone’s feast… along with a trail of eager ants!

I was annoyed!    I wouldn’t make a mess on someone else’s steps!  Don’t make mess on mine!   After I cleaned it up,  I sat down with my morning coffee to check out the free section on Craig’s list, and once again the universe spoke directly to me through Craig’s list!!  ( Hey- some people see Jesus on a slice of toast!  So there’s nothing wrong with thinking the Universe is reaching out directly to me through Craig’s list!)   ” FREE PLANTS”, said the Universe!    “Yes”, I said, ”  I’m claiming my territory, and that’s just  what I need, lots of plants!”

I quickly raced out to meet Zeke at Avon truck rental- to unburden him from the assorted mass of neglected plants stranded in his parking lot!  Zeke has many sizes of plants,  as well as,  huge terra-cotta pots, palms, & plant stands!   Two of which were so large and heavy, we needed to use the fork lift to get them up into my car!   It was an entire SUV packed to the brim with plants– and for the 2nd day in a row that week end, I was doing a slow-crawl across town,  with hazards on  and obstructed visibility!

I got home and unloaded all but the two large ones.   I  needed some extra  muscle from the very friendly Edwardo and Nixon, who work at the tile store next door, to move those two!  And after much arranging and re-arranging–  my little  deserted porch is  amazingly transformed into somebody’s home!

(I’m not done yet– but it’s a good start!)

THANK YOU UNIVERSE!!!

Here’s the before and after pictures!

LOVE SHACK PROJECT- THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
April 28, 2012

Today I am celebrating the eco-friendly circle of life that is Craig’s List !    If you’re not familiar with CL;  not only can you get free dirt,  but you can also list  things you don’t want anymore- and someone will come to your house and take them away for you!    It’s beautiful!   Today I got a huge round mirror for free from a sweet med student  leaving town for her residency,  and 3 different people came to my house to take away the bulky shelves and extra things that don’t fit into my  tiny cottage!  I feel so much lighter without the weight of  too many possessions cluttering up my  little universe.

When you drive around Los Angeles, you’ll notice an astonishing amount of storage rental places.   I think when you find yourself at the point  of needing to rent  a storage space to store all your stuff-  you  might wanna consider  whether  you  really  NEED all  that stuff!

My living  room looks  so much bigger without the huge wall unit & heavy shelves I had–  and it was fun meeting  all the  people who  came to collect them!   And-  as an added bonus, recycling is good for the planet!

Tomorrow I am meeting up with a wonderful architect named Micheal, who’s moving to Palm Springs-  and he’s going  to  give me all of his shelving!   YAY!  The universe is taking very  good care of me!

THANK  YOU!

LOVE SHACK PROJECT – TRIPPING OVER DESTINY
April 27, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot  about fate and destiny and the universe  lately.  Wondering if there’s really some  kind of plan for any of us- or   are we all just tripping over destiny?  Can you  really read the future in tea leaves?–  or is the tea-leaf reader just very good at interpreting what you need in your life into the shapes in the tea?  Does the universe really send you signs- or do you  just think you see a sign?   Or maybe, destiny is just a matter of being open to possibilities and the willingness to follow wherever they make you?

In my case, it was a broken down car that finally pushed me out of the rut I’d been in;  forcing me to take action and step outside of my comfort zone.   As a result,  I found myself,  late at night, in a random parking lot; and quite literally tripped  over destiny and looked up to see a sign from the universe right in front of my face.   The sign said, “For Rent”.

Since then, I have tried to continue following the signs- and they  have led me to so many interesting and fabulous people who I would  never have met otherwise.  Everyone of them has a story.  Maybe that’s what I’m supposed to do?  Tell their stories, as they guide me along my  path?

I went back to Obi-Wan Melissa today,  & not only did I  get the last of  the dirt for the back yard, a beautiful Bougainvillea bush, & a stature for my garden,  but I also  met her very  besotted boy-friend!    What a great couple!

Do you believe in destiny??

Here’s a picture of my finished dirt pile, Bougainvillea  bush, and statue!

AWESOME DAY!  xoxo

LOVE SHACK PROJECT- HAULIN’ DIRT
April 26, 2012

Today, via the genius that is Craig’s list, I continued on my quest for free dirt- and meet up with the delightful Melissa!   I pulled up to her home- and she was outside, working on one of her many, halfway-done projects involving masonry, carpentry, painting, gardening, ect!  You name it- and Melissa has done it-  and  done it all looking super cute & fit in her short shorts!  I was very  impressed with her skills!   As I listened to her quirky war-stories while loading my car up with dirt;  recognition dawns on me- and I  realize,  like looking in the mirror,  I’ve just met someone from my  home planet!

” Are you an Aquarius?”  I interrupt.   YES!  Of  corse she is!   It was all so  obvious –  the hand painted multi-color trim, the sweaters in the kitchen  & shoes in the dining room, the crazy cocoffany of invention!   I’ve found  my do-it-yourself guru!

I went home and unleaded my  dirt– almost done!!  I’ll have to get some  more  dirt from Melissa tomrrow.

here’s a picture of my progress.

LOVE SHACK
April 25, 2012

My love ( yes- there’s someone putting the love in the shack… omg- that sounds kinda wrong)  suggested that I fill in the one side with dirt- so that i can  plant my garden and a treed privacy wall.  That sounded like a great idea- and since its so small- only  3 feet by 17 feet – sounded pretty easy.  So I went on Craigslist, and  responded to a listing for ” free dirt”  from a  nearby couple that lived nearby that had a pile of dirt left over from their own backyard excavation.  They were very nice- and  to my good fortune- even loaded the dirt for me into my  car.    They were happy to finally be getting rid of their massive dirt pile haunting their back yard-  and I suspect- also took pity on my feeble attempt to load and maneuver the wheel barrel!  – Or perhaps they were just  saving themselves from the inevitable pile of dirt landing upon their lawn when I eventually lost control of  their very wobbly wheel barrel.   So the husband very nicely loaded up the back of my SUV ( I put a couple of old sheets down on the way-back) with 4 full wheel barrel loads twice on saturday and once on sunday.  3 carloads!!   I then unloaded them from my truck to the backyard with a plastic waste basket from the bathroom.  Not very much – and slow going- but sadly, that’s all I could carry.  ( I’m much weaker that I realized!)

So I spent a great part of the week-end trudging back and forth with my dirt-  and have only managed to fill about 2/3 of the space and every part of my  body hurts!   Hopefully the nice couple will still have some more dirt for me this week-end!

here’s what I have so far….

LOVE SHACK
April 25, 2012

HI EVERYONE!

It had  been a  really  long  time  since  I last posted!!  I’ve made  a big change in my  life-  and  have moved out of my spacious holly-hood apartment into a tiny cottage on the west side!   I was really surprised how much anxiety moving caused –  especially since at one point in my life- I didn’t think twice about moving across the country or overseas EVEN!–  and  now,  moving across town was giving me panic attacks??!!  WHO  have I become?   I’m suddenly re-discovering myself– EEEK!

So now- in one short month, i have given my 30 day  notice, looked for a new place, found one,  been approved , and moved my giant accumulation of STUFF  across town and into the tiny cottage with NO STORAGE!    Don’t get me wrong-  I am now blissfully happy in my new place- but I have a lot of  work to do to get  all set up and  moved in  properly!

So I figure, this is the perfect time to start blogging again- so i can share my journey in do-it-yourself-ing and home repair!   I’m kind of surprised to find that I am not as skilled as  i  thought!! LOL!  So hopefully, some of you will be able to give me suggestions and advice along the way as well!

My first plans are to  A., fix up the  back yard and made a garden & create green privacy wall.   B.,  fix up the front with pots, planters, shrubs, flowers- so that it looks like a cute cottage!  C., solve my  huge  lack if storage problems in the  bathroom, bed room, closet, and pantry!  Theres more  to do after that– but  those are my 1st  three objectives!

To that end- ive already spent an afternoon in Pasadena trying ( unsuccessfully) to dig up free bamboo!  – since then ive been warned of the dangers of planting  bamboo ( it spreads like cancer & must be contained!!)   I’ve  also tried to build my own  bathroom space saver/shelf to go over the  toilet ( also unsuccessful)  Note to readers-  home depot will cut your wood for free- but their saw is warped & does  not give a precision cut!!  — Meaning….your shelf will look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!!!

So- that’s the introduction to the Love Shack Project & Blog!  I will post pictures and share this journey with you!

🙂 xoxo

Lorielle

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