Never Again

It’s getting late on Sunday night and I’m contemplating my weekend and what I’ve accomplished and not. You may recall my ambitious to do list that I created and I’ll update progress on that momentarily.
Since some of my fast talkin’ friends are now blog subscribers this is an efficient way to update – woo hoo!

This old swinging bench came from my Mom’s parent’s house here in town when they moved to assisted living. Grandpa would take his coffee out and sit for hours in the morning or afternoon watching the cars go by, waving to neighbors and basically enjoying retirement. The bench was one of the first places I learned to sit down, shut up and just relax. Nothing to do but watch the sun set and wait for the cops to start cruising.

But even with pillows, the bench had seen better days with one slat completely missing and another broken, I knew it was just a matter of time before being an all weather porch made this a death trap.

So off to Home Depot I went to buy wood, wood stain and a few other things for the house and garden. I ended up with string for my string trimmer, white paint for baseboards, flowers, succulents and herbs, and boards that are just slightly too big. Both too long and too wide.

I also left with a huge headache.

But Home Depot wasn’t as bad as Costco. I’d stopped by on Saturday to add fuel to the Jeep but went back to get more dog food on Sunday.

Never again.

Apparently I forgot the hell which is club membership shopping on weekends after 18 months of enjoying a flexible work schedule that included at least one day or afternoon off each week.

The children. The samples. The ‘park my basket in the middle of an aisle to contemplate regular or french cut green beans’ people. And though I was tempted to use my mega cart weighted with dog food to clear the path of children and small adults who would dart as if their life depended on it for the dixie cup full of trail mix and make my way to the check out… somehow I survived.

It wasn’t even a holiday weekend.

Such shopping makes me cranky. Plus it was nearing 150 degrees and the Jeep has black leather seats.

One Starbucks passion fruit lemonade later and I was back at home to cool down. Using rubbermaid tubs and the closet door I removed from my bedroom, I set up a painting area. Now with 80′ of baseboards to paint and 65′ of wood for the swing to cut, sand and stain I’ve got a lot of work to do this summer.

I did manage to get one section of the rain gutters cleaned and – shock of all shocks – it’s not too terrible when it hasn’t been raining! The leaves and sticks have totally dried out and can be picked up in clumps, even scooped with a thin trowel into a bucket. A complete different experience than removing sopping wet, stinky, black leaves and slush from the gutters mid-winter all the while fearing my ladder would slip on the wet ground and I would fall to my death covered in stinky leaves.

Not saying it was all fun and games, I still hate the height and know if I were to lose my balance the gutters would fall off the house with the slightest amount of pressure.

But I’ll probably move round the house and finish the gutters in the next week or so, especially now that I know it’s not a completely disgusting job.

I’d rather be planting flowers though:

Unfortunately I didn’t finish the backyard flower gardens project, filling in with mulch and top soil. And although I dragged out a box of rocks for my neighbor they left a note in the box saying they’d found prettier rocks to use. Oh-kay. I will be pulling a few out for a project in the garden some time this week if the weather doesn’t get too sweltering.

The dog crates arrived and were super simple to set up. 1 minute tops. I moved Jackson’s large crate to the garage where it’s in the path of the fan out there. Then put the smaller crates on a thick blanket in front of the fireplace. No furniture had to be moved after all!

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The dogs – an update

So I’ve yet to put all 3 dogs in the same space uncrated. It’s been less than a week since Nixon came home with me so I do want to give them plenty of time to get used to and ignore each other before letting them play together.

Jackson is cranky per usual but has been doing well in his crate in the garage. If I leave the door open as I work in and out of the yard he’s completely fine. I suppose because he can watch the street and make sure he sees me every few minutes.

Wilson is getting used to having another small dog around more often. They play and chase in the yard, sometimes up and down the hallway. And Wilson is getting used to his own crate although he looks at me as if to say ‘uh, I’m a lap dog…”

And Nixon is settling in. He’s accepted the cage as home and when I don’t let him on the couch that’s where he goes to sleep. He’s eating in the crate and when he’s bored carries around the bowl until I get him a chew toy. Saturday I took both dachshunds to the front yard and secured them to the  swing while I planted flowers. They did not like being even a few feet away.

cute huh? I’ll be taking them out for more walks and jaunts in the yard so they get used to the experience and don’t whine the whole time. Even when I was sitting next to the bench repotting flowers and such they wanted to be sitting in my lap.

So even if I didn’t accomplish everything I got a good start and had plenty of time to play with the dogs and, dare I say, relax a little.

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Weekend Work

I’ve been thinking of projects I can get done this Saturday and I think I’ve got a pretty good list. All require me to stick pretty close to home since I also have a new puppy who is still integrating with the older dogs.

Porch Swing – buy the wood to replace slats, paint or stain. Sand the arm rests and paint or stain to match. I may also spray paint the base because it’s looking pretty rough. If so I’ll need to really clean it up and sand.

Gutters – are falling off the house. Need to drag out the ladder and get the leaves from winter cleared out so they don’t come crashing down. icky, icky job.

Rocks – from the small plot next to the front door are just sitting in the garage gathering spiders. Some will go to my neighbor who is creating a line between our lawns and some need to be arranged in my flower bed under the hose so I don’t have to roll up my hose in the dirt.

Fill dirt & mulch – I’m 4/10th of the way through distributing top soil in the backyard and need to finish that up as well. One half will be getting dried lawn clippings as a layer of mulch, the other half gets shredded paper. It also requires I finish pulling weeds, trimming roses and clean up any dog surprises.

Baseboards – if I can find a cheap/affordable set of saw horses then I’ll begin painting the boards for the house. I have 80′ to do and they’re already primed but I am loathe to set them up on anything weak or to crouch on the floor for a few hours to paint.

Crates- the new dog crates arrive today so I hope to have them assembled tonight and then I’ll need to rearrange furniture this weekend to make the living room work again. Thinking of putting one of the smaller crates in the office but it’s a lot of furniture moving and I don’t want to kill my back.

Okay, I know this post is short on pictures and that will be remedied this weekend but for now a shot of the new puppy:

Summer Fruit

Summer is back and I finally made it back to the Farmer’s Market this weekend. Here’s what I picked up:

cherries $4
Strawberries $6
Peaches $2, Pepper $1 and Plums $4
Blackberries $2

There you go! $19 for a ton of fresh local fruit and peppers. I’ve already made one smoothie and portioned out the fruit for more smoothies.

Each baggie has 2 tablespoons blackberries (crushed), 1/4 cup strawberries, 3 tablespoons blue berries, 1/4th of a banana and one plum.

In the coming weeks we should have more lettuce, zucchini and squash going on sale and then peaches and corn! Looking forward to the fresh stuff.

A Thing A Day

While I aspire to a house that’s clean, organized, pretty and simple, the truth is the place most often looks like this:

and it’s kinda blurry like this too since I’m always running around!

So lately I’ve been reading Unclutterer, the blog and forums and found a great challenge to remove A Thing A Day from my home. Typically I go through spurts but I definitely need to get more consistent and deliberate about this.

After overcoming my belief that I can only start challenges on the first of the month and that there should be rules, I just decided to start.

In the last month or so I’ve been gathering things in the garage and today I took a car full to the Salvation Army. In addition to 3 boxes of clothes and shoes I got rid of kitchen cups, an old bag, my old desk chair and some old broken CD players.

As I keep cleaning and organizing I’m finding more that I can donate.

Sometimes I don’t know why I save things, like a dozen little plastic tubs from food. Then on weeks like this last one I find them extremely useful for painting.

Still, if I want to move in the next few years (and I really, really do) then I need to get rid of a lot of the junk around here that I don’t use. If I can find one thing every day, and some days a lot more, then by the time I’m ready to move there will be 1,000 less things to move.

That’s pretty good motivation.

Memorial Day Redux

What a busy weekend! My Mom arrived on Thursday with the Jeep and Dad followed on Sunday night. Here’s what we accomplished:

  • bought new dishwasher, hauled it home
  • installed new dishwasher

  • arranged pickup of old dishwasher (and old washing machine!)
  • bought a curtain rod
  • removed closet doors in the master bedroom
  • disassembled a duvet cover and made curtains

  • made 2 new pillows
  • bought paint
  • finished scraping glue in the bathroom (leftovers from an ugly fish border)
  • painted the walls in the bathroom
  • removed the mirror, towel holders and patched walls
  • caulked the gap between wall and countertop
  • hung new mirror

  • measured for baseboards
  • replaced switches and outlets in master bath, master bedroom and guest room
  • hung mirror in master bedroom

  • hung 3 new mirrors in guest bathroom

  • replaced broken toilet seat in guest bathroom
  • hung new message board in garage

  • bought new baseboards for office, guest room and master bedroom

Sure feels good to have all those things checked off the list!

Of course the old house list is a never ending thing and I hope to have another pass at the paint in each room, touching up as needed and then install the new baseboards. I’d be delightfully happy with new faucets in the bathrooms and a new shower head in the guest bath but in good time.

In addition I’m working from my new computer! Finally broke down and bought the MacBook Pro that I’ve been salivating over for months now. I bought my little Acer netbook in 2009 and it worked pretty well for the weak processor and I’m fine replacing it since it was just $300 and lasted 18 months. You get what you pay for.

In fact the MBP is the reason this post is so late, I can’t figure out how to rotate and upload pics to the blog on the Mac yet so I had to move files back to the Acer.

It’s a good thing Mac is pretty…