Ask Rude Ruth For the DIY Truth

Ruth has graciously accepted an offer to contribute to the Blog Section of this website. This page will no longer be updated with her DIY advice letters, but they will appear as posts whenever she feels like adding her sagely yet sometimes quite baffling advice.

We will see how it goes, be forewarned!

 

Rude Ruth is here to answer all your decorating and DIY questions.

Keep those letters coming!

 

Dear Ruthie,

I have three big beautiful (70 pounds each!) Boxer dogs who are graced with non-stop energy. They gallop around my 900 square foot house jumping over furniture playing “tag”. Their other favorite games are “rip up the sofa” & “wet on Daddy’s iphone”. They are so cute and a complete joy to live with. However, they tend to grab anything within reach and totally destroy it in their active games. Needless to say my home decor is minimal, and any surface below waist high is either scratched or covered in a thick coating of slimy yet adorable Boxer slobber.

Do you have any tips on designing around three big dogs? I’m not talking about a house full of high-end antiques, but I would enjoy some tasteful decor that is Boxer friendly.

Thanks!

Boxer Daddy

Dear Daddy,

There’s a great new invention out there. It was thought up for imbeciles just like you. It’s affordable, durable, attractive, and best of all Boxer friendly.

It’s called chain link fencing.

You make the call to a professional installation expert, write a check, then kick those adorably slimy-slobbered, spastic, untrained, spoiled, pee-on-your-belongings, eat-you-out-of-house-and-home, stinky mutts out to the back yard where they can destroy at will & leisure. Sure, you will be lonely at night in your 900 square foot, empty, scratched-up, dog-hair infested, carpet stained batchelor’s pad (I gathered that much since you have three inside dogs and no woman in her right mind would get within a hundred feet of you), but you can always find comfort in a bottle of Chardonnay.

Ruth

Howdy Rude Ruth!

We live on a beautiful ranch in Texas. My husband and I & bought our ranch a few years ago after getting tired of the rat race in a large East Coast City. We are so happy to be living our dream of owning a ranch in Texas and being “cowpokes”. Every day we get up, put on our cowboy boots, hats & chaps, mosey out to the barn and jump onto our trusty mounts. His is a Honda and mine is a Polaris. Together we ride the entire circumference of our giant ranch looking for anything that might need fixing. When we bought our spread
there was plenty of work to be done. We put up a fence, planted a tree, and dug a watering hole for the wild animals that frequent our ranch. We have stocked our place with miniature donkeys, peacocks, and a potbellied pig. We love to round them up and pet them on weekends.

I hate to brag but we have really made a showplace out of our land. What once was five acres of wild country at the end of a subdivision road is now pruned, mowed, and manicured to Texas Ranchland Perfection. We are proud to be Texas Ranchers at last!

However, we need your help.

The neighboring ranch’s owner has put his Motorcoach Garage 20 feet from our fence line! It’s the first thing we see in the morning when we go outside. His ranch isn’t nearly as expansive as ours (it’s 4.5 acres) and we think he’s jealous. We want to put up a privacy fence to shield us from his unsightly Motorcoach, but the Ranch’s POA prohibits it.

Do you have any ideas how we can block out the view of our neighbor’s ranch and still enjoy our spread?

Sincerely,
Pissed Cowpokes From Philly

Dear Silly Philly Pissed Pokes,

Before I go any further, I have to make a comment. FIVE ACRES IS NOT A RANCH. Fifty acres (in Texas) is not a ranch! Maybe, just maybe FIVE HUNDRED ACRES might be a ranch in the right community in Texas, but a real ranch in Texas is not 5 acres. Got that?

Why don’t you and your cowboy wannabe husband jump on your ATVs and ride off into the sunset… maybe head to California? I hear there’s a gold rush going on there. Or perhaps buy yourself a beach house in Arizona. I’m sure the other “ranchers” in your community would gladly get over not having you and your fence building, waterhole digging (what animals anyway ~ stray cats from the Sonic’s next door?), tree planting, chaps-wearing “cowpoke ranching” activities in their faces.

You deserve the view of your neighbor’s Motorcoach. I’ll even venture to say you deserve better than that — the view of your neighbor’s outhouse!

Five acre ranch…..Sheesh!
Ruth

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

I recently purchased a 250 sq. ft. loft apartment (the building was originally built in the 1920’s, and has been renovated for living spaces) in Uptown Manhattan to be used as a Pied a Terre. I plan to have it painted and redecorated before I move in. The boring and practical me would paint it white, but I since it is my Pied a Terre, I want to break out and do something different. I am seeking your help on choosing the colors. The current color scheme is a light beige with white cabinetry in the kitchen. The floor is hardwood that has been carefully restored to its former glory. The bathroom has beige walls, white fixtures, lots of chrome and natural hard rock maple cabinets. I am anxious to get started on my “home away from home”! Any help or advice you might have would be most appreciated.
Sincerely,
Hot Babe in the City

Dear Hot BITC,
First of all, what in Heaven’s name is a Pied a Terre? Is it some sort of Italian dessert? A  shoe? A shoe shaped like a pie that’s also an apartment in the city? I venture to say it is the fancy dancy name for a room in a brothel. Is it a swanky, high-class loft in which you entertain your Uptown Manhattan Swains (not to mention charging them a lofty price for your affections to compensate for paying an undoubtedly ridiculous price for 250 square feet of lofty chrome and maple!)?

Do you plan on placing mirrors on the ceiling? Will there be mood lighting and padded walls? Heavy velvet drapes with golden fringe and tassels? Cushion-y fainting couches and an abundance of lace hankies strategically placed over lamp shades? A cashier in the hallway?

Blatant bragging about your so-called “home away from home” is not only rude, crude and socially screwed, it’s just plain bad manners. If my daughter (God rest her soul) was to tell me she bought 250 square feet of bordello real estate just so she could save a few pennies on gas driving from her mansion in the country (filled to the rafters with screaming brats) to her “career” in Uptown Uppitytown, I would be both flabbergasted and deeply disappointed. I would gently remind her that her place is at home. Nights. With the kids. And the drunkard of a husband she simply insisted on marrying (in spite of her loving mother’s best efforts to discourage).

Spending your weeknights in the red light district is no way to live.
Go home before it’s too late and your life (and reputation) is ruined!

Ruth

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

My favorite Aunt recently passed away from a long and painful illness. I was her only nephew to take the time to visit her while she was in the hospital and later in the nursing home. I took her flowers, candy, and read books to her on a daily basis during her entire illness. Needless to say I played a major role in planning her funeral and had the priviledge to sing her favorite hymn at the closing of same.

Last week, her brother (my father), as executor of her estate, notified me I was to get an inheritance from my dear Auntie. I was excited to find out I was mentioned in her will ~ but I must admit I was not surprised considering I was her favorite nephew!!

After a lengthy wait in the foyer during the reading of the will, I was finally called in to learn that I was to receive three large, gold-framed paintings of various subjects (dogs playing poker, a fisherman and his trout, & a bullfighter in the arena) ~ none of which I had ever seen on my many visits to her large, exquisite estate.

Here is my dilemma: The gifted paintings (all done on black velvet) are not exactly suitable to my ultra-modern, minimalist decor, but I want to display them to honor my Aunt. Should I re-decorate my home to reflect the love and affection shown to me by my Dear Auntie?

Best Regards,
Auntie’s Pet

Dear Pet,

I honestly don’t know if you are either the most devoted and loving (yet unbelievably naive) nephew in the world, or the most devious, butt-kissing, book reading, candy giving, hymn singing, greedy individual yet to send me mail.

Were you appalled or delighted to receive what was obviously garage sale fodder as a parting gift for your lame efforts to fleece the normal-acting family of their rightful inheritance?

Do you honestly believe your “favorite Aunt” wasn’t on to your patronizing, sweet talking, every-day-with-the-book-reading, never-ending flowers and candy (perhaps she died of sugar overdose?), constant jabbering and schmoozing scheme to walk away with the gold mine of Auntie Goodness?

If I was you I would MOST DEFINITELY redecorate to accommodate the velvet “gifts” (by the way, where’s Elvis’ portrait?) lovingly chosen just for you from her “exquisite estate”. It would be good for you. That and a psychiatrist.

What’s next?

Ruth

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

We just signed a two year lease agreement on a house in a major city. It has three bedrooms, two full baths, formal dining & living rooms, a family room, and large kitchen with breakfast nook. It sits on a small unfenced lot on a busy street near many city conveniences.

Despite its amenities, we are unhappy with many of the aspects of the house. The shag carpeted floors in both the formal living and family room are a hideous color of Kelly green. The fireplace mantle is made from red brick (as is the outside of the house), and doesn’t match the green carpet at all. The walls are a nice color of beige, but unfortunately clash with the floor and brick. The light fixtures in the dining room and breakfast nook are that horrid brass from the 70’s. The bathrooms are covered in avocado green ceramic tile with green tubs, sinks, and toilets. The doors to the bedrooms have been removed (and are missing), there is no central heat or A/C, and the windows have no screens.

We want to make some updates to reflect our fashionable taste in decor, but unfortunately the rental contract strictly forbids changing anything about the house.

We desperately wish to beautify our home…. HELP!

Sincerely,
Renters With Issues

Dear Renters,

I have issues as well. With you. It’s plain to see you either cannot read, or didn’t bother to read the contract BEFORE signing on for two years of red brick, avocado green, tacky beige, kelly green, 70’s brass,  zero privacy and bugs flying into the house for want of a screen convenient city living.

Were you and your family so desperate for a place to live that you gladly signed a TWO YEAR rental agreement on a loser house just so you would have shelter? Was this major city (full of conveniences) so chock-full of renters renting the good houses, apartments, condos, RVs, tents, cardboard boxes under bridges, old cars, and gutters that
the only thing you could find to live in was a three bedroom, two full bath, dangerously busy streeted, nightmare in decor fresh from the 1970’s, formal roomed and breakfast nooked monstrosity in red brick? Perhaps you toured the house in the dead of night (and dead drunk) with a dim flash light (or candle) and couldn’t see the lack of doors and turdmuckledy green toilets?

Did someone else (with painfully bad taste ~ or an obvious enemy) look at the house and sign the TWO YEAR contract for you?

Was the TWO YEAR agreement written in a foreign language that was later translated to you to reveal the clause stating that you must endure TWO YEARS of shag kelly green agony?

I cannot even begin to fathom your other issues. Complete (yet obviously unknown to you) idiocy being among them I’m sure.

You waste my time.

Ruth

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

My husband and I live in a very well-maintained 10 year-old house on an acre in a quiet neighborhood. Although it still looks new, we want a change. We are thinking about redecorating the house both inside and out to reflect the “Old World Style” that is so popular right now. Do you have any suggestions on how we can achieve this look in a smart and inexpensive way?

Sincerely,
Craving Old World Style

Dear COWS,
You have chosen the easiest and least expensive decorating trend of them all! It is obvious that you are brilliant and have a tasteful sense of style. I am delighted to offer a few hints to help you acheive the look you so deserve.

1. Stop maintaining the outside appearance of your home. This will encourage chipped siding, cracked windows, split lumber, flaking paint, and a host of other enchanting Olde World looks. Nothing says “I’m a smart DIYer that is on top of the trends” like missing shingles!

2. Instead of spending your hard earned money (I am assuming that you are gainfully employed) on that expensive weekly carpet cleaning, let your shag rugs go for a few months. You will be amazed at how quickly that Olde World charm will appear on your floors! Soon all the spilled coffee, wine, beer, spaghetti sauce (for an Italian touch), and pet stains will have your interior spaces looking more like the Olde World and less like the Perfectly Sterile One Acre Subdivision World you now live in. Smart & Easy!

3. Address the walls in a similar manner as above, and before long you will have that Olde Worldlike chipped, worn and cracked plaster look you so desperately desire (and other people pay for!). Invite some little kids over for a weekend, feed them greasy french fries and hot dogs, and let them work their little kiddie magic on your walls, light switches, door facings, windows and bathrooms. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your detested “looks like new” home’s decor transforms into the Olde World Look of your dreams. All at no cost to you! Smart!!

4. Let things rust. This essential Olde World element to decorating is easily attained in two ways. One way is lots of time and exposure to nature’s elements ~ but from the sound of your smart letter that’s too long to wait. The smarter, quicker way is salt water. Lots of salt water sprayed on your various metal screens, hinges, knobs, and other hideous “new looking” items will speedily acheive your goal. Soon your window screens and yard gates will turn that crusty brown of the Olde World. Imagine the smart beauty of a rusty, creaky, hole ridden metal roof! Go a few steps further and add your cars to the mix to get the total experience. Why not?

Add all these easy DIY elements together and your neighbors will snicker with envy at your smart and trendy good taste.

Please don’t write back to let me know how it turned out, I really don’t care,
Ruth

 

Dear Rude Ruth,
We just bought a new house in an up and coming housing development. Although our house is nice, it is quite similar to the other houses on our street. I know that is to be expected when purchasing a home in a master planned community, and my wife and I accept that. However, we would like our house to stand out from the others on our street. Any suggestions on creating unique curb appeal?

Sincerely,
Different From The Rest

Dear DFTR,
I can see why having a unique element to your cookie-cutter house to assist you in finding your way home in the baffling maze of two-story, tile roofed, double car garaged, curve sidewalked, stucco-sided, treeless, cheaply built, trampoline-in-the-back-yard, dinky porched tract houses might be helpful. Especially after a night of hard-drinking, football play-off watching, beer joint floozy chasing, buffalo wing eating debauchery in the nearest tavern (which you no doubt often endulge in to escape your cookie-cutter life in the suburbs).

Could it be you want your house to “stand out” from the others on the street so you can brag to your buddies about how you made your house better than everyone else’s? Will a red painted door or a gazebo in the yard impress your booze hound friends? Perhaps a white picket fence and some shrubbery will entice your wife’s bridge club to come to the suburbs for tea and crumpets so they can secretly bash her taste in men and housing developments behind her back?

I wonder how your children (if your wife was silly enough to have them with you) would feel being singled out at school as being “different from the rest”? I’m sure they already have enough problems just explaining why their father is never home and smells of cheap perfume and bourbon when he actually does find his way back from the tavern, only to pass out in his cookie-cutter SUV in someone else’s driveway a few doors down.

My suggestion to you is a simple one. Join AA and assimilate to your surroundings.

You make my blood boil.

Ruth

 

Dear Ruth,

The Christmas Season is upon us and I need your advice. Every year I have personally hand-picked a real, fresh cut Oregon-grown Christmas Tree for placement in my living room. The smell and sight of a natural tree complete with twinkling lights and glass ornaments is to me the very essence of what Christmas is all about. Who doesn’t love the piney smell and sparkle of a expertly decorated 10 foot tall masterpiece of decorating good taste? The perfectly spaced glistening gold and silver glass ornaments and tinsel compliment the gold and silver candle sticks on my mantle. Add to that someone’s (not mine ~ she had horrible taste) great-grandmother’s hand-sewn and sequined Christmas Tree Skirt for a touch of nostalgia.  Let’s not forget the Antique, hand-blown, German Mercury Glass star lovingly placed on the top~ the crowning glory to any Christmas tree! Behind the tree I place two full-length mirrors to help show off the otherwise neglected ornaments placed in the rear area of the tree. And to finish the perfect Christmas effect: carefully placed, meticulously wrapped gifts in coordinating colors (I sometimes wrap empty boxes to help re-create Santa’s bounty!) tucked under and around the picture perfect Christmas symbol of a Joyous Noel.

Nothing is overlooked and no detail is too small for my Perfect Christmas Tree. However, this year my situation has changed. In the recent past, my family has grown to include numerous sons and daughters-in-law(s) with children of their own. This year Christmas is being celebrated at my house. I have been informed that three of my nieces have allergies to trees and I fear the littlest ones will touch the delicate glass ornaments and perhaps even attempt to climb the tree I have worked so hard to make perfect. I have had nightmares of my glorious tribute to the season toppled over with broken glass and ripped paper lying around the room in a catastrophe of disarray. Christmas is at my house this year for the first time in ages, and I am worried about the results of a day of the unsupervised chaos of little kids around my tree. Any advice?

Sincerely,

Decorated to Perfection

 

Dear Decorated,

TL;DR

Ruth

 

 

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

Please give me instructions on how to build a coffee table.

 

Sincerely,

DIY Wannabe

 

Dear Wannabe,

 

So you want to build a coffee table all by yourself…. A coffee table, hunh?

Do you mean the sort of table you and your gourmet coffee-drinking, metro-socializing, donut-eating, Coffee Table Book Perusing, doo-dad and gee-gaw (intended for coffee tables only) collecting, Endust buying, foot propping while watching TV, frozen dinner eating, candle burning friends can gather around while you entertain them with your latest feats in Do It Yourself wizardry?

Do you want to make it from rare wood, common wood, oak, pine, bamboo, copper, iron, wagon wheel, milk crate, cinderblock, or cardboard?

Will this table go on carpet? A wood floor? Cheap vinyl tile? Dirt? Brick?

Do you want a round, oblong, square, rectangular, oval, triangular, octagonal, hexagonal, rhombus, Texas-outlined, or some other ridiculous out of the ordinary shape for the top?

And the legs, what do you want the legs to be like? Normal coffee table legs or something more uppity along the lines of gold filigree or perhaps elephant feet?

Your question is so confusing and complicated that I cannot possibly help you. Perhaps you should take some lessons in letter writing and good English before going public and showing your painfully lack of clarity with letters to DIY experts.

On the other hand, if you are looking for detailed plans for a DIY entertainment center, I can easily fix you up. My design (still in use after 35 years) includes everything the perfect entertainment center should possess. It is 28 inches deep to accommodate my large, expensive Sony Trinitron TV (the latest in cutting edge television technology) as well as my VCR. It has a shelf dedicated to music enjoyment including reel-to-reel, cassette, and 8-track tape players! There is a slide out compartment for the turntable, receiver (both AM and FM stereo), amp and pre-amp. Along the bottom of my DIY home entertainment console, I built enough shelving to store (within easy reach) all of my LPs, tapes, and yes, even my VCR movies! I built it just the right height to place the speakers on top and still have room for my super 8 movie projector.

Too bad you only want an obscure coffee table! You are definitely out of your league writing me ~ you’d be better off going to a garage sale for your coffee table.

Amateur!!

 

Ruth

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

It is time for new wall coverings in our old house. We don’t want to paint again, and since I (as the man of the house) will be doing the labor, I am inclined to cover the worn out plastered walls with some expensive looking (yet inexpensive) wood paneling. I just love that outdoor look it lends to the indoors. My wife isn’t very keen on the idea, and wants me to put up flowerdy wall paper instead. I have no experience in either type of project, and would like your advice on which is both easier and less expensive. We are in our Golden Years on fixed incomes, however, we would still enjoy doing a few improvements ourselves before we get too old. Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated!

Sincerely,

Golden DIYer

 

Dear Golden,

I congratulate you on reaching your Golden Years without your wife killing you in your sleep. I can’t honestly say that if I was her I would have kept you around, what with your love for cheap fake wood with pictures of “expensive looking” wood on it glued for all eternity to the walls of the house she has to clean and care for to keep you happy. The idea of spending her “fixed income” on something as hideous as paneling (just so you can have the look of the outdoors on the inside) makes my stomach churn in disgust. If you are so insistent on surrounding yourself with the outdoors, why don’t you just move to the back yard and live in a (real wood) tree?

My advice is this: WALLPAPER. Pictures of fake flowers on cheap paper glued for all eternity to the walls might not appeal to you, but it might just save your life!

Ruth

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

I want to change the decor of my 3200 square foot, two story brick home from an ordinary Colonial motif to a more updated look.  I am ready to get rid of the stuffy, yet expensive antique old-world furniture and create an atmosphere reminiscent of the Southwest.

Any suggestions on how to make this transition as painless as possible?

Sincerely,
Out with the Old!

Dear OWTO!,

I can’t help but notice your bad habit of bragging about your house. Was it really necessary to mention the monumental square footage and the fact it is brick? Do you think going on and on about bricks, square footage & expensive antiques is essential to what you want to do? And Southwest? What Southwest are you blabbering about? Southwest Jersey? Southwest Florida? Southwest Japan?

If I am correct in assuming you mean Southwest Arizona, then my suggestion is to swab on some turquoise colored paint, stand a plaster bullfighter up in the corner, arrange some fake cactus from the flea market in the living room window, drape a poncho (a real poncho ~ not a Sears poncho) over the sofa, and place some of those little donkeys in the front yard garden. Sprinkle in a few velvet Elvis paintings, some red wall paper, black iron burglar bars, and call it good. Soon your neighbors will be paying you to return your giant brick mansion to its former Colonial glory ~ or else suing you for de-valuing their neighborhood.

Painless enough for you?
Ruth

Dear Ruth,

We are in the process of remodeling our old out-dated bathroom with a new luxurious one. It will include both a tub and separate walk in shower. It will have all the comforts of a five star hotel, right in my own house!

I am trying to convince the contractor and my husband to put in a new type of shower drain I discovered on the internet that is easier to maintain. The normal ones trap his quickly thinning hair and are scary to clean. Since cleaning it will be my job, it seems only right that I get the drain I want.

Have you had a good experience with the new type of drains? I would love to show your recommendation letter to my contractor and husband, and perhaps solve this disagreement.

Many Thanks in Advance,
Slimy Hair Hater

Dear Slimy,

Brazen boasting about your new improvement to everyone in the world is a bad way to start a letter. Besides being a shameless braggart, your openly lazy housecleaning methods are a disgrace. I would like to know, however, just who is shedding hair in your shower? Your husband? Your contractor? Your poodle? (I am going out on a limb here and assuming you have a poodle, considering the uppity tone of your letter.) Or all three?

You should get down on your knees and thank your maker for the opportunity to clean the hair out of a drain. Some people don’t have husbands (or contractors) with hair. Some people’s husbands have an abundance of hair, but not on their heads. Some people don’t have husbands at all, and would give their right arm for someone who clogs their drains with long slimy hairballs. There are even some ladies who would gladly take on the drain cleaning chore if they only had a shred of hair left and didn’t have to go to the wig store only to find the selection of wigs to either resemble something Bozo the clown would scoff at, or some totally cheap looking bleach-blonde disaster no self-respecting street walker would be seen dead in.

Go get some draino and stop your whining.

Rude Ruth

 

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

I have a flooring question for you.

The bedroom floor in our old house is currently covered by adhesive tiles in a beige stone pattern. Over the years a few of them have lost their stick-ability and have come loose, revealing a potentially beautiful wood floor beneath. I want to remove the tile and restore the lovely wood below.

My husband put the current flooring down (before he met me ~ I would have insisted on fixing up the original floor) because he didn’t want to endure the labor of refinishing the wood, and his first wife didn’t care. Because of this, I will probably be on my own with this project and am anxious to get started.

Can you give me some hints on how to transform my floor?

Sincerely,

Excited About New Wood

 

 

Dear Excited,

Although there is nothing better than the experience of new wood (with the possible exception of morning wood), it’s plain to see you are not worthy.

You sound like the kind of whining, nagging, insistent wife that no husband in his right mind would want to keep around for long. Why he replaced what seems to have been a perfectly-happy-with-a-tile-floor-spouse with the likes of you is beyond me. If I was him, I would drop you like a bad habit and return to the nice, quiet, vinyl-floored, peaceful freedom that is bachelorhood.

Have you ever considered the fact that he might like cheap, fake-stone sticky tile? Did it ever occur to you that his idea of beauty and practicality might be a vinyl-covered floor? I’m sure you have “insisted” on other changes as well, right? I’ll bet you “insisted” he quit his bowling team to stay home and change out light bulbs and doorknobs that offend you. Or maybe you “insisted” he take down a perfectly good Wal-mart mirror and replace it with an expensive antique? Sure you did.

Even if he did go to the expense and back-breaking labor to refinish the bedroom floor, would you be satisfied? I don’t think so. In fact, I know you wouldn’t. Your kind are never satisfied.

I suggest you wise up and stop badgering your poor husband before he wakes up and kicks you to the curb like he did the first wife. Forget about the floor, and go make him a sandwich.

Ruth

 

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

I am a handsome, trim, self supporting, fun, social, talented (did I mention handsome?) recently divorced 50-something man. I have just purchased a home in a trendy neighborhood that has everything a swinging single gentleman like me would want (if you get my drift ~ wow~ the ladies in this area are amazing!).

However, my new house needs a few upgrades. I want to build a wine rack for keeping an assortment of wines handy for fireside “special occasions” and maybe an outdoor kitchen space out by my pool for weekend parties & neighborhood “mixers”.

Being new to DIY projects, I need your help. Should I purchase a kit (precut lumber and materials) for the wine rack, or try to create one from scratch? Do you have a source for designs and blueprints you could link me to? And do you think an outdoor kitchen with a stove, sink, countertop, refrigerator, and gas grill is too much for a beginner to take on?

Your advice would be a lifesaver!! I am anxious to get things in order so the parties can begin.

Thanks in advance,

Freshly Liberated & Itchin’ To Mingle

 

Dear Freshly Itchin’,

Considering the obvious fact you are in the throes of a Mid Life Crisis, I will go easy on you and make a few friendly suggestions.

1. Don’t dump a fortune into your current “bachelor pad”. The time you will spend out at your new pool side party area will be limited to long, lonely hours with a bottle of Thunderbird and a blow-up float. I’m sure you have dreams of those “amazing ladies” draped on every chair, clamoring for your attention while you create a gourmet meal at one of your weekend “mixers”. But the reality of that scenario is a bag of Cheetos, your schnauzer & the TV. Face it – do you really see yourself cooking anything? Or were you planning on getting your ex-wife to come over and do it for you while you entertain the non-existent bikini-clad poolside floozies?

2. You think you are itchin’ now, just wait till a week after one of your fireside “special occasions” with one of those so-called amazing ladies. There isn’t a real lady within ten miles of your “trendy” slut-infested neighborhood!

3. Your money would be much better spent during this time of your life on a computer with a webcam, typing lessons, an urban dictionary, and a subscription to one of those “friends with benefits” personal sites. Maybe then your fantasies can come true as you play “Naughty Girdle and Support Hose Salesman” with other insomniatic midlife crisis sufferers like yourself. One word of advice on that, though… the Username of Cialis_Smile1944 is taken. Not that I am a frequenter of such sites, but trust me, I know.

4. Go back to your wife if she will have you. Sure it will cost you a lot of mental pain and suffering, but if you behave and play your cards right, you might not have to sell the brand new Honda Goldwing you have in the garage. (You don’t seem like the Harley type, what with your gourmet cooking fantasies and poolside mixers) Who knows, she might enjoy your company from the back seat of a motorcycle. Stranger things have happened.

Good Luck,

Ruth (a.k.a. Playtex_Mama1947 – hint hint!)

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

I am in the process of replacing the window treatments in my home. I want the color scheme in each room to compliment the room beyond, but still want each space to have a different character. The color schemes I want to work with are earthy and natural, with the exception of my powder room which is very feminine with a Victorian flair. In that room I will go with light pinks, mauves and perhaps burgundy as an accent color.

I am not too sure if the fabrics & colors I have in mind will work together in harmony. Any ideas?

Thanks!

Rustic Yet Feminine

 

Dear RYF,

I think you should put up any old fabric, color, pattern, & design of window treatment you want. And after you do that, please please please tape up a generous supply of tin foil to the windows themselves. That way the normal people of the world (that don’t insist on “Victorian pinks, mauves, and burgundy-as-an-accent colors”) won’t be subjected to your painfully mismatched ideas in decorating if they happen to drive by your house. I also suggest you offer blindfolds (or at least dark glasses) to your guests (if you have any brave enough to visit) upon entering your house as well.

What ever happened to good old-fashioned Venetian Blinds? If those hardy and decorative metal slats are good enough for me, they should be good enough for a no-class curtain hanger like yourself.

Tin foil and blindfolds, that’s my idea for you.

Ruth

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

I am a long time reader first time question asker.
Our dining room window faces west, and has a lovely picture window in that wall. It is a great asset to the room, however in the evening time when we are eating supper the sun glares in intensely from it and ruins our dining experience. I want to put a curtain on it to keep the sun from raging in and disrupting our meals, but my husband likes the view. I  admit the view from that window is great. We often see wildlife activity from it while dining.

I need a solution to the sun and heat without losing our view. Any suggestions?

Sincerely,
Love The View Of Wildlife At Supper But Hate The Sun’s Evening Glare

Dear LTVOWASBHTSEG,

Couldn’t you have chosen a shorter name?

Ruth

 

Dear Rude Ruth,

My bathroom wall has a hole in it from an accident incurred while attempting to change a light bulb. I admit I did it, but I also admit I cannot repair the hole in the sheet rock. I don’t have a clue where to start and my boyfriend won’t lend a hand. He laughs at me because I am concerned with mice coming out the hole and biting me while I am taking a shower. He has “fixed the problem” by stuffing his dirty underwear in the hole. Although this works keeping out mice, I am getting concerned about the reaction of visitors when they see his underpants hanging out of my wall. My mother doesn’t know he stays over and I’m afraid this will be a give away someday (leading to the loss of my inheritance). Can you instruct me on how to repair a hole in sheet rock?

Sincerely,
Knickers in a Knot

Dear Knotty Knickers,
You sound like a silly girly girl what with your fear of itty bitty mice. The only logical solution to mice is cats. Lots and lots of cats. Or a cute little dog or two (or ten) to chase the mice into the cat’s waiting jaws.

I would love to see your boyfriend’s drawers hanging out of a hole in your wall. He sounds very sensible (with the exception of being with you), resourceful and humorous. You should be proud to display his underwear. Some girls don’t have boyfriends that wear underwear. Some girls’ boyfriends don’t know when to stuff their dirty underwear in a hole because they don’t change their underwear. Be proud you have a man in your life who is aware of the status of his knickers’ cleanliness!

And as for your inheritance, being a dumb silly girl who’s scared of mice and doesn’t have sense enough to get a cat doesn’t deserve a large sum of money just because her mother died and left it to her “virgin” of a daughter!  Is your family still living in the Dark Ages?

You disgust me.

Ruth

 

 

5 Responses to Ask Rude Ruth For the DIY Truth

  1. charles says:

    Dear Rude Ruth,
    Your man-hater ways will haunt you. I bet you are a lonesome old biddy who sits alone at night with her 85 cats. I’m a cedar chopper and proud of it. Cedars are a menace to the land. Just like gripy old ladys.

  2. boil says:

    Hey Ruth,
    Right on old girl (if that be the case)I come from along line of cedar choppers myself,and we need to be kept in line and….. yea.By the way where are you from anyways cuz if’in yew aint from round hea then maybe yew ota go on back to Dallas or Fortworth where yew come from.

  3. Leegay says:

    Charles and Boil you are angering the beast. Ruth doesn’t get just plain old mad, she gets really really mad, and takes it out on innocent letter writers. I would get mad too if I was accused of being from Dallas or Fort Worth. Sheesh!

  4. aunt martha says:

    Ruth you are hilariously brutal. I’m starting to wonder if we are related? You have that certain something that makes me think of a few elders that show up to our family reunions. I never know when they will bite my head off!!

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