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Ruth Marlene Friesen - author and site owner of Ruthe's Secret Roses - Welcome!
Ruth Marlene Friesen: Welcome!

This site is like Ruthe, the heroine of my novel, Ruthe's Secret Roses

Ruthe is . . .
intimate with God,
prays a lot,
a bleeding heart for the hurting,
a big sister,
rescues friends,
has creative ideas,
likes to give surprise gifts,
loyal to friends,
dreams of love and marriage,
dreams of writing a book
goes the extra mile

So this site offers;
good books to read!
help to become Friends with Jesus,
The One Ideal Real Friend
a cure for loneliness
An Older Sister's Coping Secret
how to pray Panic Prayers,
& regularly/daily
how to grow in faith
Christian mentoring,
how to share your faith

Psst! I've got FREE taste treats of the novel ready for YOU! DOWNLOAD the first 3 chapters as an eBOOK in beautiful colours, or read the first 8 chapters on this site, if you have time to stay a while. Start READING HERE!
OR, you can subscribe to a daily series of installments by email until you have read the 8 Chapter Sampler:

Getting the Stairwell Plaster Out
and Snow Days

The narrow stairwell into my basement has been an eyesore from the beginning. Now, as I am nearing the end of the floor tiling down in the basement, I see a need to get the ugly plaster out of the stairwell before I try tiling around and under the stairs, or painting them. The clattering shards of plaster were bound to mess things up if I finished around the bottom first.

a look at the beginning of my work. the ugly stairwell walls.
(A look at the beginning of my work. the ugly stairwell walls).

So Saturday, January 23, I dressed in grubby clothes and tackled the walls with a hammer and screwdriver, and had two large pails handy to catch and carry out the broken plaster.

Clouds of chalky dust rose and made breathing hard. I stopped several times to go wash my glasses and my eyes.

Not at the worst, but what you'd see looking down.

Whenever I had two pails filled with the broken plaster I put on my parka and carried them outside behind my car, hoping to get the effect of gravel in the area where I park the car. It might seem a bit rough at first, but later, I hope it turns into a sandy sort of bed, which keeps the grass from growing under the car.

my last pail of plaster shards before I emptied it.

Notice that snow has been covering the plaster as I carried it out. The earlier 9 buckets full are hidden already. More about that snow in a minute.

This is as far as I could reach.

That's as far as I could reach. I'll have to recruit some tall, long-armed friend to help finish that section this next Saturday.

Yes, this renovation of my home is a continuing saga!

Well, just to go on about the snow... I shoveled my garden path clear three time on Saturday afternoon.

The next morning I got ready for church and came out half an hour early to tackle the shoveling of that path again. I decided when I reached the car that it would be wiser to stay home. However, I had my camera in my pocket so I snapped a few photos to show you.

one foot deep since Saturday afternoon!

Notice that mushroom cap of snow on the garbage can? And the snow just in front of that? That shows you how much snow had fallen on my back steps just since the last time late Saturday afternoon that I had cleared and swept that deck.

the path I dug out, looking back after I reached the car

This is the path through the garden, looking back towards the steps once I had shoveled all the way to the car.

However, by that time I was quite winded and pooped out, and I decided against trying to drive to church - way across the city - so I went back inside and left the car covered with snow.

car still covered with snow.

There is the car covered with two days' worth of snow fall.

That garden fork you see there is so I have a place to hang my electrical cord when I unplug the car to drive some where.

So are you content now with where you live, and the weather you have to cope with? :)

Second Saturday Gutting Stairwell

The saga continues. This past Saturday, a week after the one above, a friend from the mission, Wayne Senger, brought along his landlord, Jake, and they knocked out the plaster I could not reach alone. When I asked about getting the rough slats out too, they tackled that as well, and when they left at 3:30 pm I just had some of the lower slats to take out, and then all that debris to carry out.

Here Wayne and Jake had knocked out the plaster and most of the slats
Unfortunately, I didn't think of taking photos of them at work in time. I was busy carrying buckets of broken plaster out behind my car again, and armloads of the wooden slats. After they left I did snap a few shots to show you the progress and changes.

Here Wayne and Jake had knocked out the plaster and most of the slats.

Wayne worked the heights and Jake was at the foot of the stairs, gathering the debris into buckets which were handed up to me, and I carried them out. I think it was 10-12 buckets full of plaster this time, and I forgot to count the armloads of wooden slats. (I may rescue some of those to build a lattice for the garden this summer).

close up of the almost bare stairwell.

Here is a close up of the almost bare stairwell. Just some slats yet under the trouble-light to pull out. The walls you see on the other side of the 2 x 4s are the bathroom on the left, and my bedroom wall on the right.

All they asked for was a cold drink, and they liked my pineapple juice. (I do too, but I let them have the last of it). Now I wonder what else I could do for them to bless them in return.

the stairwell and steps after I had cleaned and swept up plaster for a couple of hours.

The stairwell and steps after I had cleaned and swept up plaster for a couple of hours.

There will hopefully be another installment next week, as this coming Saturday, Feb. 6th, my brother Ernie, who is a diesel mechanic and foreman in Winnipeg is coming for a visit. He is very strong and fit, so I'm hoping to persuade him to put up some white paneling in this stairwell. :)

He certainly won't be able to argue that I didn't get the dirty work done first for him.

Time to prove that Ernie came and did what I asked and more besides!

Ernie worked extra hard to make sure the electrical outlet from the bathroom was firmly in place

Ernie working extra hard to make sure the electrical outlet dangling loose from the bathroom side was firmly in place.

Then, after lunch and going out to buy more tools, we brought in some sheets of the white paneling that had been given me, but was stored in the neighbour's garage. The sawdust flew as we held the sheets over my living room furniture, but we got them trimmed and Ernie nailed them in place.

Ernie nailing the panels in place.

It's not a very wide or long staircase, as you can see. Ernie filled it up. But there is a landing just three steps from the bottom, and there was a corner ledge built so that part of the landing was given up for that. I had got used to it, but Ernie thought it was in the way, and he made it his business to open up the woodwork and see if it could be removed. Turned out there was a big chunk of cement sticking out from the wall, with nothing but dirt below it. He decided it had to go.

Ernie chiseling the cement chunk to make the landing larger

So after we had bought a chisel and a variety of drill bits for my cordless drill, Ernie tackled that and got rid of that chunk of cement. He put some pieces of wood and paneling up, and my job soon now will be to pour fresh cement behind there, to fill in the gap and then put more paneling over the wall to make it look neat and tidy. I will have a larger landing as a result!

Sigh! I have been very blessed to get help with this part of my house renovations. It was so-o-o very messy and dusty, but that part is over now.

Ready to go back to the Patio page for links to more photo stories?

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