Another Memorial Day Weekend Marathon

Last year I had my parents visiting for the weekend and we got a surprising amount accomplished in just a few days (new dishwasher install, new curtains, painted the bathroom, hung mirrors, replaced switches & outlets and bought baseboards).

This weekend I summoned them back for round 2. Here’s the to do list:

Replace both toilets

old toilet ready to come out

Why – Both toilets were original to the house and, well, old and decrepit. The main bathroom valve leaks (inside the tank) so it’s constantly draining water and then refilling. Hello high water bills! The master bathroom toilet doesn’t completely flush anymore and I have no idea why. So, time for new! We bought bowls back in January during a sale but need to pick up the tanks and any other misc pieces.

Update – despite an on-going saga that warrants its own post, the toilets are in! I still need to fix the tile in the master bath but they’re in!

new toilet in master bath


new toilet main bath

Replace more outlets.

dirty, painted on beige outlet

Why – because I have CDO and everything has to match, that’s why! Dad did most of the house over the past few years as I was painting or finishing rooms. But he seemed to have missed a few that were hiding behind beds or bookshelves. I was out of a few pieces but picked them up so we’re all set to swap ’em out.

still dirty wall, new white outlet

Measure, cut, paint and install baseboards.

Why– well again with the matching… there’s a small bit of the office that did not get baseboards when we did the office, plus a section of the hallway that used to have a bookshelf built in. Additionally the master bedroom needs to have old baseboards yanked and new ones cut (I’ll probably wait to install in this room once the walls are painted.

Update – well due to problems with the toilet project we didn’t get time to paint the baseboards and get them installed. But we did remove the master bedroom baseboards so that I can paint. Once the bench staining project is done I’ll have room to paint the baseboards. The next time the saw is in town we’ll get the measured, cut and installed.

dirty carpet but baseboards are out!

Get rid of ‘de bolt’

see the dangerous bolt?

Why – when this gate was installed there were two bolts sticking out. Wilson found the first and ripped the skin on his left rear leg (owie) which resulted in an expensive Sunday urgent vet visit. Walking by the gate a few weeks ago I nearly tore my arm open on the top one. It’s got to come off!

bolt stub

Take down lights and the shelf in the master bedroom

Why – this is just more painting prep so that I can finish with the ceiling, then prime and paint the walls. It’s going to be bold color (just like the kitchen, office and guest room) and the white lights and shelf will go back up probably still as white. The only switch will be that the shelf needs to be raised up a few inches for some furniture to fit underneath.

shelf gone – walls ready for paint!

Stain wood for the bench & drill holes

bench in the summer of 2011

Why- I love this bench, it belonged to my grandparents and I’m glad to have it at my house now. But it’s seen better days so I bought wood to replace the weak and wimpy slats and am working on staining them. Once stained they’ll need drill holes for the bolts. But I won’t be done quite yet, we need to remove the old wood, sand down the frame and paint it. While I like the flat black, I’m thinking that Oil Rubbed Bronze would make it really pop. And hide stains better.

About halfway done with staining

I’m still working on staining. They recommend waiting 4-6 hours between coats so I need to get back to this project tomorrow. The drill holes are done though so as soon as the wood is done I’ll set it aside and start working on the frame.

I’m sure we’ll be adding other things to this list. For one, I finally bought the right size replacement knobs for the broken drawers in the kitchen. They do need to be stained and installed though.

But the list here comes first, lots to do and then the garage to empty (I’ve been storing furniture for 6 months now and it’s time it went home lol).

The garage is getting there! I still need to move the queen headboard from the master bedroom and start sanding it so it can be painted. But it’s definitely looking better! Here’s a peak at the tool hanging storage:

Yes, this makes me happy

I’ll definitely have enough content for a garage post soon, there’s a lot to do in there and I am so glad to have it clean so I can work on projects in earnest. Not having room to move around really cramps my style.

Next up: clearing the side yard, repotting and working on my container garden, refinishing the bench, sanding and painting a headboard, installing the last door inside, priming & painting a ceiling


Mid-May Where Has the Month Gone? Post

There’s a lot going on over here, as referenced in this post, but as things speed up I’m even more committed to getting projects done.

See, I’m sitting on the love seat in the living room next to my queen mattress (propped up against the wall) and looking at the dog crates which need to be used at night again so I can get rest instead of being dive bombed by Nixon.


He looks cute and innocent but he can dive bomb.

There have been some small successes lately. For one, I found an affordable backup charger for my laptop so now when I want to go on a trip or work from the living room I don’t have to move my entire desk in the office to unplug the charger.

I’ve also started keeping a metal bowl out on the counter for food scraps throughout the day and then I dump it at night in the compost bin, add some water and give it a spin.

I’m even happy I finally managed to eat the manicotti noodles that I bought a year ago even though I didn’t make traditional manicotti, I was just happy to get them out of the pantry so they’d stop mocking me.

But there’s much more to accomplish this weekend so here are my goals and I’ll be back to update (with pictures as I go).

1) Spray paint the last set of door hardware with ORB – done

2) Mow and trim the front yard – done!


3) Continue to trim flowers, clean up dead leaves and add to the green waste bin – mostly done, always more to do

4) Clear and at least prep the office door for painting. Bonus points for getting the first coat done – done

5) Prep the kitchen stool for the final coat of paint – done and got it painted for an upcoming post

6) Move out all of the flower pots and clean them up – done

7) Trim the grass in the backyard and lay down fertilizer – grass is trimmed, fertilizer not yet done

8) Make another batch of lentil soup – done and in the freezer


Whew. I think I can get all of that done today if I stay focused and don’t get too tired. First up is feeding the dogs so they’ll stop barking at me and having something for breakfast myself.

Energy and Exhaustion

Lately I’ve been feeling more and more exhausted as things get really busy in my business.While I’ve been incredibly productive in some ways I’m slacking in others. For example,

  • reaching out to dozens of clients, leads and colleagues
  • filling my practice, serving private clients and getting great results
  • frequently messy house that desperately needs routine cleaning
  • complete failure at cooking meals
  • spending time with the dogs at the park a few times a week
  • haven’t gone back to the gym since their jacuzzi broke a few weeks ago

Most of the time it feels like I’m failing in far too many areas than where I’m succeeding. On the weekends that I work for 2 days it feels overwhelming and I go into Monday exhausted. If I take the weekend “off” to work on photography, sleep in or work around the house then I feel guilty.

Last night I went out to a birthday party and hanging out with friends old and new was a great break from the computer: Photobucket

Each week I make a point to meet up with my friend Ana,

or Lily, Photobucket

so we can work on our businesses and record videos together. That feels balanced and I always have more energy after two or three of us get together for a few hours.

While I have dozens of half finished projects at home I lack both the time, money and energy to complete them. Which makes me feel like a slacker.

It’s tempting to compare our low energy times with the brilliance that other bloggers put out there. Most people post about the great things, a dinner out, new purchases, great experiences. Even in the Facebook economy we don’t talk much about the mundane.

So what do you do when everyone out there seems to have a more fabulous, exotic and productive life?

I prefer naps.

In fact, I was convicted lately when I jokingly replied to someone who asked how I get it “all” done when I said “I don’t sleep.” Which could not be further from the truth. I sleep at least 8 hours a night, sometimes more.

Now, I justify this intense time investment because 2-3 mornings a week I have vivid, clear dreams about my client’s businesses, often creating marketing campaigns and implementation plans when I’m asleep. These mornings I wake up inspired and writing ten miles an hour to get it all written down.

But, the truth is I’m not productive because I don’t sleep. I can be productive (in some ways) because I don’t watch tv, I don’t go shopping and I don’t cook or clean much.

I’ve known and accepted for years that I’m an incredible Type A personality. Even when I take timeoff, like the party last night, I end up doing something more. Taking pictures to add to my photography blog, networking around my business, writing myself notes of things to accomplish when I get home. Yeah, even my relaxing time at home is spent researching, working on projects or gardening.

I tell ya, it’s a sickness. When I was 14 I came down with mono and spent an incredibly boring 3 weeks at home recovering. Torture, absolute torture.

So I guess I’d rather be busy, even when I’m looking at all the things that haven’t been done and stressing myself out. On days like today I just do the next thing I can which means right now I’m going to wash the car.

May Goals

Well this year has been a whirlwind of travel thus far and it’s not over yet. But I am excited that the month of May means staying at home and getting sh*t done. Yes, that’s my company’s motto.

For the house that means tackling projects that are bugging me the most including:

  • replacing 3 more outlets in the bedrooms that were missed the first time (this is my OCD tendencies insisting they must all match and be upgraded to white)
  • replacing both toilets which have leaky seals and many problems
  • removing the lights and shelf in my bedroom so I can paint
  • removing the baseboards in the master bedroom for painting

And that’s just the short list as my Projects Page can attest. I would be sublimely happy to find an ORB faucet for the bathroom that didn’t cost $200 so I could replace the large, gangly, boxy cabinet and sink with my pretty, new pedestal sink. Which of course needs a faucet first.

The grass is growing and some of the bald spots are (slowly) filling in on the back yard but mostly this time of year the roses are blooming like crazy.


The mint has also overtaken the front yard:


And a few select tulips have survived and bloomed:


Due to the travel lately I’m really enjoying being at home and seeing everything bloom. Psssst for a lot MORE photography posts, including this amazing iris, check out my daily photography blog here: