Life · Refurbish · Remodel

There’s always something to be done

For the past two years I’ve been doing maintenance around the house. (Well, not “me”, I’ve paid to have it done.)  I hope to retire in five years and want to have the expensive items taken care of while I’m still working.

For instance, I replaced the outside doors.  My friends asked me why and I replied “I don’t know.  All I know is that Paul said a few years ago ‘We need to replace our doors.’  So I did.”  Then one of my trees died during last summer’s drought and I had it taken down.  Last year right before the rainy season, the shingles started sliding off of my roof.  I kept hearing odd noises over the front door, but when I’d open the door and look out, nothing.  I blamed it on ghosts (that’s a story for another time).  Then one day I came home from work to find a large section of shingles had fallen near the stoop.  Luckily I was able to get the roof replaced before the rain started.

Some of my driveway sections were lopsided from a few years back when we had to have the sewer line unclogged, so I had it replaced.  Turned out that the builder just poured the cement on top of dirt, that’s why the squares started lifting when the back-hoe drove up.  The man I hired to replace the driveway took care of that and said I shouldn’t have to replace the driveway again in my lifetime.  Since he was replacing the driveway, I had him put a small patio in the front by the stoop.  I’ve always wanted a porch, but because of where the sewer lines come into the house, we couldn’t have one put on.  So now I have a nice little patio to sit on.  I had some stones put in the front yard around a couple of trees so I don’t have to mow over the large roots and so I’d have less grass to mow.  And finally, I had the rotted deck replaced on the back of the house.

I’m actually looking forward to planting flowers this summer.  Something I’ve not done at this house.  I take that back, I did plant three Peonies and a couple of rose bushes in the last 20 years.  But the rose bushes have long since died.  Paul planted the dwarf Lilac bush that I posted about previously.  When the landscaper was putting in the rocks, I had some mock rose bushes planted and some little green plants that don’t mind the sun (don’t know what they are called).  But that’s about it.  My sister is into plants and flowers, so she is going to help me.

I’m also doing some things on the inside to bring the house up-to-date.  It was built in 1980, so it’s time to do some “refreshing.”  This is the fun part.  For months and months and months….  I’ve been looking at decorating websites to get ideas.  I change my mind OFTEN, so I have been taking my time.  I’m also a bit of a tight-wad, so I’ve been reading do-it-yourself websites too.  I just started taping episodes of The Nate Berkus Show ( and now I read that they are cancelling his show this year.


What are your fingernails telling you?

I noticed tiny ridges on my fingernails and I have been getting a lot of hang nails lately.  I’ve heard before that your fingernails indicate your over all health so I decided to research it.  I turned to the internet, of course.  I found this article and thought it worth sharing (after I corrected some typos).

From Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balch & Balch

The nails protect the nerve-rich fingertips and tips of the toes from injury. Nails are a substructure of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) and are composed mainly of keratin, a type of protein. The nail bed is the skin on top of which the nails grow. Nails grow from .05 to 1.2 millimeters (approximately 1/500 to 1/20 inch) a week. If a nail is lost, it takes about seven months to grow out fully.

Healthy nail beds are pink, indicating a rich blood supply. Changes or abnormalities in the nails are often the result of nutritional deficiencies or other underlying conditions. The nails can reveal a great deal about the body’s internal health. Nail abnormalities on either the fingers or the toes can indicate an underlying disorder.

The following are some of the changes that nutritional deficiencies can produce in the nails:

A lack of protein, folic acid, and vitamin C causes hang nails. White bands across the nails are also an indication of protein deficiency.

A lack of vitamin A and calcium causes dryness and brittleness.

A deficiency of the B vitamins causes fragility, with horizontal and vertical ridges.

Insufficient intake of vitamin B12 leads to excessive dryness, very rounded and curved nail ends, and darkened nails.

Iron deficiency may result in ‘spoon’ nails (nails that develop a concave shape) and/or vertical ridges.

Zinc deficiency may cause the development of white spots on the nails.

A lack of sufficient ‘friendly’ bacteria (lactobacilli) in the body can result in the growth of fungus under and around nails.

A lack of sufficient hydrochloric acid (HCI) contributes to splitting nails.


Nail changes may signify a number of disorders elsewhere in the body. These changes may indicate illness before any other symptoms do. Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms are suspected.

BLACK, SPLINTER LIKE BITS UNDER THE NAILS can be a sign of infectious endocarditis, a serious heart infection; other heart disease; or a bleeding disorder.

BLACK BANDS from the cuticle outward to the end of the nail can be an early sign of melanoma.

BRITTLE, SOFT, SHINY NAILS WITHOUT A MOON may indicate an overactive thyroid.

BRITTLE NAILS signify possible iron deficiency, thyroid problems, impaired kidney function, and circulation problems.

CRUMBLY, WHITE NAILS near the cuticle are sometimes an indication of AIDS.

DARK NAILS AND/OR THIN, FLAT, SPOON-SHAPED NAILS are a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency or anemia. Nails can also turn gray or dark if the hands are placed in chemicals such as cleaning supplies (most often bleach) or a substance to which one is allergic.

DEEP BLUE NAIL BEDS show a pulmonary obstructive disorder such as asthma or emphysema.

DOWNWARD-CURVED nail ends may denote heart, liver, or respiratory problems.

FLAT NAILS can denote Raynaud’s disease.

GREENISH NAILS, if not a result of a localized fungal infection, may indicate an internal bacterial infection.

A HALF-WHITE NAIL WITH DARK SPOTS AT THE TIP points to possible kidney disease.

AN ISOLATED DARK-BLUE BAND IN THE NAIL BED, especially in light-skinned people, can be a sign of skin cancer.

LINDSAY’S NAILS (sometimes known as ‘half-and-half’ nails), nails in which half of the top of the nail is white and the other half is pink, may be a sign of chronic kidney disease.

NAIL BEADING (the development of bumps on the surface of the nail) is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

NAILS RAISED AT THE BASE WITH SMALL WHITE ENDS, show a respiratory disorder such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. This type of nail may also simply be inherited.

NAILS SEPARATED FROM THE NAIL BED may signify a thyroid disorder (this condition is known as onyholysis) or a local infection.

NAILS THAT BROADEN TOWARD THE TIP AND CURVE DOWNWARD are a sign of lung damage, such as from emphysema or exposure to asbestos.

NAILS THAT CHIP, PEEL, CRACK ,OR BREAK EASILY show a general nutritional deficiency and insufficient hydrochloric acid and protein. Minerals are also needed.

NAILS THAT HAVE PITTING RESEMBLING HAMMERED BRASS indicate a tendency toward partial or total hair loss.

PITTED RED-BROWN SPOTS AND FRAYED SPLIT ENDS indicate psoriasis; vitamin C, folic acid, and protein are needed.

RED SKIN AROUND THE CUTICLES can be indicative of poor metabolism of essential fatty acids or of a connective tissue disorder such as Lupus.

RIDGES can appear in the nails either vertically or horizontally. Vertical ridges indicate poor general health, poor nutrient absorption, and/or iron deficiency; they may also indicate a kidney disorder. Horizontal ridges can occur as a result of severe stress, either psychological or physical, such as from infection and/or disease. A horizontal indention in the nails (Beau’s line) can occur as a result of a heart attack, major illness, or surgery. Ridges running up and down the nails also indicate a tendency to develop arthritis.

SPOONING (upward-curling) OR PITTING NAILS can be caused by disorders such as anemia or problems with iron absorption.

THICK NAILS may indicate that the vascular system is weakening and the blood is not circulating properly. This may also be a sign of thyroid disease.

THICK TOENAILS can be a result of fungal infection.

THINNING NAILS may signal lichen planus, an itchy skin disorder.

TWO WHITE HORIZONTAL BANDS THAT DO NOT MOVE AS THE NAIL GROWS are a sign of hypoalbuminemia, a protein deficiency in the blood.

UNUSUALLY WIDE, SQUARE NAILS can suggest a hormonal disorder.

WHITE LINES show possible heart disease, high fever, or arsenic poisoning.

WHITE LINES ACROSS THE NAIL may indicate a liver disease.

IF THE WHITE MOON AREA OF THE NAIL TURNS RED, it may indicate heart problems; IF IT TURNS SLATE BLUE, then it can indicate either heavy metal poisoning (such as silver poisoning) or lung trouble.

WHITE NAILS indicate possible liver or kidney disorders and/or anemia.

WHITE NAILS with pink near the tips are a sign of cirrhosis.

YELLOW NAILS OR AN ELEVATION OF THE NAIL TIPS can indicate internal disorders long before other symptoms appear. Some of these are problems with the lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes, and liver disorders.