12 Final Things from August

It’s hard to believe that August, and therefore summer, is over but the calendar doesn’t lie. Before we transitioned into Fall I had a productive couple of days working mostly outside to get shit done. Here’s my list of accomplishments:

1. While the sugar maple tree came out last November, the stump was still about 2-2.5′ tall and 2 other big sections of the trunk were hanging out in my side yard, taking up space. Here’s what it looked like before:


So Dad arrived with his chainsaw and took it all the way down to the dirt and now I’m working to remove the rest of the dirt and roots to make this box even with the grass and sidewalk:


2. We also took out a medium palm, see the small one in the photo above? There was a second small one in this box a few years ago so I transplanted it to the patch of dirt under the garage window but it quickly grew too big. Bye-bye palm.


3. To keep the garden going in the drought, I’ve been watering sporadically while pulling out the plants I hate and want to die. So I bought 2 hose hangers for the house. We put one in the backyard:


and one in the front yard:



4. Outside the front door I’ve always had this lattice covering the beams that bridge a gap in the roofline. Which was a pain because birds could get up in the rafters and make a nest and the lattice was sagging heavily. So we took it down.


Now when I walk out the front door it’s nice and bright!


I may still add something decorative there but first need to clear out the gutters up there and probably replace them with new.

Here’s the bird’s nest I found:


(Note, I’m going to be doing something fun with the lattice so it won’t go to waste!


but until then it’s taking up space in the side yard so I can pull out 1,000 nails.)

6. The next thing we did was so simple but made a big difference to me! When I bought my washer and dryer last November they went side by side until I could have Dad fix the gas line. Then we stacked them with the dryer on top. The only problem was the washer door swings open to the left, the dryer to the right. With the right drill bit and some patience, the door hardware was swapped so the dryer door now swings open to the left and I can quickly transfer wet clothes up to the dryer!

In case you’re wondering why I want them to swing left, it’s because the soap and softener are on a small shelf to the right of the units.

7. As I mentioned in the last round up, my miter saw had been smoking and wasn’t cutting cleanly so it was time for a new blade. I picked one up on Amazon and then Dad found a replacement at the swap meet for my table saw. In a couple minutes he had both of them traded out and even took the old one to be sharpened for reuse. Now I can bust out the rest of the baseboards and a new project coming up this fall! Look at that shiny blade on the table saw! No more rust is a good thing.


8. With the new blade in place, I was able to cut the cleats for my headboard and get that installed! I’m so glad it’s done:


9. Super simple but been on the to do list too long task: Got the propane tank refilled and hooked up to the grill and immediately rewarded this achievement with steaks on the grill for lunch. The grill is now hanging out on the side yard now that the stump from the tree is gone.


10. It was also time to disassemble the raised garden bed I put under the guest room window and recycle that wood. I had to unscrew the supports but then it was pretty quick work to cut up the wood and put it out in the trash.


11. In the front yard I took some time to clear off the potting bench, wash it down, scrub it a little and then wash it again. I do need to slap on some Thompson’s water seal but that could come later on.


Although it seems like I’ve been spending all my days outside, this really was a productive week of catch up after a hot and icky summer. Inside most of my projects are done so there’s not a whole lot left to do week to week.

12. This year I finally got my ducks in a row to enter photos in the county fair:
Fair Photos

and I brought them home the Monday after the Fair + 2 ribbons!IMG_1424



12 Good Things

I started this list a few weeks ago but things have been so active around here I didn’t get a chance to post it. These weeks feel a lot slower, for some reason, so tracking what’s new and good and accomplished is always helpful.

1.I pulled out the outdoor fabric I’ve been hoarding saving for years and started cutting with an 18″ square template. I started matching up fabric and soon had 4 pillows:

Front Bench

2. After cutting, pinning, sewing, flipping, stuffing and sewing closed the opening they were almost done. I picked up this “never wet” fabric spray and gave each side a coating. Here’s how it works in real life:

Cool right? These pillows are now hanging out on my bench and I have a couple more indoors.

My strategy for years has been to buy ugly outdoor pillows at the end of the season and then recover them with nicer fabric. So I’ve been cannibalizing the innards and tossing the old outer fabric which is mostly faded and horrible. This has helped me seriously reduce the pillows floating around in my garage taking up space!

3. The super soft burp rags are stilling rolling along and I have a box ready for cousin Katie who just had her first last week and am busting through the designs for cousin Micah who is expecting his first in August. (Update: sent both boxes out and Micah’s son was born last week!)


4. In the stash of outdoor fabric I found the extra that I bought to match my kitchen curtains (which are now all lined, hurray!) and used it to cover the kitchen rug. This also got a coat of never wet but I might need to apply a heavy coat of Modge Podge since the fabric is a bit loose.


5. Last weekend I finally brought in the piece of plywood I cut for my headboard and started working. I covered it in a queen sized egg carton used for mattresses that I got pretty cheap at Amazon. Then I layered on batting, muslin and the fabric to match my upholstered bed.


It’s not yet installed on the wall so I’m just leaning it carefully in place until I can finish the cleats.

I know it seems like all my projects have been fabric related but there’s a good reason for that: my saw blade needs replacing.

6. Before the saw went smokey and the bandit, I was able to cut the 1x2s I picked up for my trellis project and then stain the whole contraption.

It was messy. I had dark spotches on my hands for days.

Each support got nailed and screwed together for stability and then I buried them in the flower bed. It won’t withstand a lot of force but it’s working to keep the bougainvillea growing up instead of out.


7. It’s back to school season so I hit a few stores to pick up supplies to donate to my chiropractor who is putting together a drive for a local charity. I found a backpack as well as the usual pens, pencils, erasers, folders and markers.

9. I also found quite a few awesome things for me, namely these cool wood bins which were clearanced for $7 each and are absolutely perfect for storing my finished corn bags that are ready for sale. It’s the little things that make me ridiculously happy. All of the corn bags are now stored in the guest room.


10. Meanwhile, I had to put away the sewing machine for a bit and pull out my poster project. This huge mandala of flowers has been fun to work on and the set of pens I got from Amazon are awesome (and only $8/set!). I’m so close to having this done and then I have no idea where I’ll put it.



11. Taking advantage of our hot days and sun beating in through the kitchen window (now that the sugar maple is out), I made several batches of sun tea.


12. Finally, in August I’ve been trying to get to the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays and one weekend I took Nixon with me for a turn in the convertible.