Friday, February 27, 2009

It's the ugliest time of the year

Now that the snow is gone, my view of the backyard is decidedly ick. Everything is brown and gray and wet and muddy. On the one hand, I am excited about spring coming; on the other, whew! what a lot of work I have ahead of me.

  • The heating contractors need to return and adjust the baffles again, because now the West Wing is downright chilly, worse than ever. I'm tempted to crawl under the house with them and see just what is what with the baffles, so if need be, I can adjust them myself.

  • I did rearrange the two spare bedrooms so they each have a bed. One is cozy, the other cramped because it still has too much furniture in it. Someday I will get rid of the some-assembly-required desks I have accumulated over the years.

  • The cat is using the litter box in the cat washroom! Now I will begin phasing out the old litter box.

The seed catalogs are enticing me to order too many plants and seeds. Again. Burpee has a tomato collection that is calling my name. One problem with Burpee is, they think they know better than I do when it is time to set out tomato plants in these here parts. The other problem is, do I really need nine tomato plants?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Deceptively sunny

It has been a busy weekend, but in a good way. The junk room Creativity Center is about 95% cleaned up. I think I am going to rearrange the two spare bedrooms so that they each have a bed instead of both beds in one room. That means I will have to keep at least one of them guest-ready instead of letting them both degenerate into storage closets like before.

I also worked on the garage - it is about 50% there. I assembled all three of the storage thingies from Target. One is for tools and is halfway loaded. One is a tall cabinet, and when I discovered my vacuum cleaner would fit into it, the kitty washroom (which the cat eschews) was shoved aside in favor of the storage unit in the laundry room. If I ever get a closet cleaned out enough to house the vacuum, the storage unit can go back to the garage. Storage thingy #3 is shelves and is in the garage.

(In a previous lifetime, I made it a habit to clear out old papers and clean the garage once a year. Somewhere along the line, my discipline collapsed and now I am paying for it by spending most of the weekend attending to both.)

Today the heating contractors returned to adjust the baffles under the house, to send a bit less hot air to the new room and a bit more to the main body of the house and a LOT more to the Creativity Center, which was really chilly.

Speaking of the new room, I decided I want to call it the West Wing. Never mind that I never even watched that TV show, West Wing just seems accurate. My daughter thinks this is a silly idea, but I challenge her to come up with a better name.

After the heating guys left, I picked up my lawn mower from the lawn mower place. Servicing + two repairs = $80. And on the way to pick up the mower, I stopped at a used bookstore and purchased From Julia Child's Kitchen and The New Seed-Starters Handbook for a total of $20. I spent $100 in just one day. I did the same thing a couple of days ago, after hitting both the people food store and the animal food store. Where's my bailout?!?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spring has sprung - NOT

Where I work, we get Presidents Day off, and on the Friday before a long weekend, we also may leave at 3pm. The sunshine was misleading, but despite the chill and the still frozen ground, I used the extra time to work in the yard.

First, there was poop scooping. Then there was ornamental grass shearing. Then there was hosta bed clearing. I also cleaned up the pink and white bed on the south side of the house a bit and discovered that the pink daffodils I planted last fall are peeking out above the ground. Either I planted the bulbs too shallow or they are mistakenly precocious.

The pea fence was never put away last fall, so I relocated it and started filling it with yard waste in preparation of my first lasagna bed. That is this year's experiment - lasagna gardening.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

That's gratitude for you

There has been this "grace in small moments" thing going around Blogdom. Most people are grateful for their jobs, their health, their families, a pretty sunrise, moonlight on the snow, etc. Me, I'm grateful for indoor plumbing.

It is a good thing I have two bathrooms because at any given time, one or the other has something wrong. At the risk of enraging the Plumbing Gods, I will share this with you: right now, both toilets flush without requiring subsequent handle jiggling, and they refill without fiddling with the innards of the tank. All drains are draining, and no fixtures are leaking, although everything could use a good scrubbing. And there is always hot water at my command.

Even the reverse osmosis faucet in the kitchen is now upright:

The original ring around the base was plastic, and it broke after less than a year of use. My son-in-law replaced it with a metal one.

It's true: it's the little things that matter.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My bad? Maybe

The electrician came and now there is power to the outlet. I can tell by the little green light on it. Upon closer inspection, I discover that the outlet includes a reset button. I wonder if that is all I needed to do to make it work. And I wonder if the bird bath tripped the circuit. Experiments forthwith.

Once the deck was gone, I thought the rabbits would abandon living within ten feet of the back door.

Apparently not.

They have taken up residence under the porch that goes between the French doors of the new room and the patio slab. I'm hoping it is just temporary or the dog will be trying to dig under the porch.

BTW, I need another name for the new room because "new room" is what my ex-in-laws called their new room, even 30 years after it was built. Any ideas?