Wednesday, April 27, 2016

March / April updates and May goals

I don’t know why the monthly goals blog is so hard to write.  Perhaps it is because I don’t think that I have done enough or the fact that projects don’t seem to ever be done.  I would love a neat and tidy list with bright shiny stars checking off each line signifying that everything was completed.  Instead I have a list that may or may not match the actual projects done during the month.  New things get added, others not even attempted or put off and the dreaded messy middle. Things were started but are far from done.  Such is life and I am TRYING to learn to see the progress rather than the lack of bright shiny stars.  I, however, am stubborn and this is a grumpy learning curve.

Not grumpy daffodils.  These are part of the group I planted last fall by the food beds.
The variety makes me smile.

I went back to see what last month’s goals were and realized that it was written on the first day of March and reviewed February and planned for the month of March.   I didn’t even do one for April’s goals.  SOOOO… this is a check in for all of March and April….  Well, I can say we did stuff.   The last list made included finishing painting the guest bedroom, seed orders, starting seeds, going to Fredrick Meijer Gardens and breaking.. er.. CUTTING glass.  Well, a couple of those got done and I even blogged about it.  Yay me, a couple of bright shiny stars!  As for the rest, we’re in a messy middle.

Bright Shiny Star list first though.  I got the guest bedroom spackled and painted.  I used a partial can of paint leftover from our bedroom’s makeover several years ago.  I do like the color and it looks nice with the wood and carpet.

Before pictures can be seen here.

South facing window with a date palm and scented pelargonium (used to be called a geranium until the botanists changed its family a couple of years ago – I guess they were bored.)
North side of room with a big walk in closet currently housing extra food and supplies.

About three minutes after the walls dried, T emptied the big room and moved all the stuff into the guest room to start the next project of ripping up carpet to make my plant corner.  He and my dad have already been in cahoots to make my potting bench and we have purchased racks to hold my plant and potting paraphernalia.  All this moving stuff around has made me very aware that I have a LOT of stuff.  I hope that when everything gets put in its “home” that I will be able to see what needs to be pared down.

I read a book on organizing (okay, I read a lot of books on organizing because I don’t think that I am very organized most times) and the author suggested a new way to visualize your clutter.  Many organizers suggest going room by room or section by section of your space to declutter.  She suggested decluttering by objects.  For example when she was decluttering office supplies, she gathered every single pen in her home and made a big pile.  This allowed her to see just how many pens she had and made it easier to let go of a few.

I am a bit horrified of the pile of pens I think I would have if I did such a thing.  The pile would be HUGE and not just because I am an artist and like to handwrite notes, but because I am always in search of the perfect pen.  Granted I have found a few that meet my “perfect” requirements, but there are a lot of pens that annoy me or I discard in search of a better pen but do not get rid of simply because one can always use a working pen.  This does not even start to include my “art” pens.  Anyway, the very fact that I am reluctant to try this method probably means that I should.

Neat and tidy room for a moment…

We decided that we would remove all the carpet in the hallway and half of the carpet in the big room.  The carpet in the hallway was starting to fray and come up in some spots from wear and tear. Having the painted cement floor would allow me to drip water in the hallway on the way to the potting bench without getting on the carpet.  We were already planning on me being messy.  Water and soil inside are always messy, no matter how neat I try to be.

We used string and a sharpie to mark the line which I eyeballed.  Not to brag but I am usually within an eighth of an inch when I double check my “eyeballing” with a ruler.  I think it is because I am a perfectionist.   I do know how to draw a straight line.
This can be both a blessing and a curse.
Deconstruction begins..  T’s favorite part.
T managed to remove the carpet edging strip with minimal chipping of the tiles.
No going back now…  T used a scissors to cut the carpet which gave him a big blister and swollen fingers.  The things he does for me because he loves me…  He is a good man.
Hallway clear, and working on detaching the padding from all the glue.
Padding rolled up and ready to go.  Why yes, I do like butterflies… what gave you the hint?

Shout out to the former owners of our house on a job well done in installing the carpet.  That sucker was VERY well stuck down.  Removing the carpet tack strips left small craters every 8 inches or so and wow was there a lot of adhesive.  Bonus: the carpet did not move a bit in the last 14 years that we have lived here.  Not bonus:  that’s a lot of scraping and cement patching to do.

Currently the project is stuck on adhesive removal.  (punny, I know)  I started with a one inch putty knife blade and after an hour or so decided that this was not fun and went hunting on Google for another solution.  Chemicals, boiling water or heat were recommended.  I tried my iron with a bit of success but it was still really slow going so we decided to try chemicals.  I know, crunchy veggie anti chemical girl was willing to risk some VOCs in exchange for less painful wrists and shoulders and a completed project sometime in this decade.  Seriously, my wrists and hands ACHED and my shoulders were so tight that I had a hard time at volleyball that night.  OW!

First attempt with an eco-friendly chemical was a failure so we went back and purchased a big four inch razor knife and heavier duty (still supposedly eco-friendly but it will kill you if ingested and the warning label is a bit scary) chemical.  I haven’t had time to try it yet as we interrupted ourselves with a couple of other projects.

One project was the removal of my pond about which I will blog later.

The other project is a new garage door that we had delivered and will attempt to install ourselves.  T has already removed all the hardware and prepped for a long day.  The instructions suggest that it will take nine to twelve hours to install.  I am assuming that this is the amount of time a competent handyman would take so I have no idea how long it will take T and I.  Good thing I am good at reading instructions and T is extremely handy.  This will probably be blogged about too.

Other bright shiny stars go to my completion of the seed orders and receiving of said presents.  A slightly bent, tarnished and bedraggled star goes to the starting of those seeds.  I got some in soil but not all. I don’t seem to have the motivation to begin and I couldn’t tell you why.  Perhaps it is because there isn’t a real deadline like with food seeds?  These, for the most part, are flowers and so it doesn’t matter if they are started or not with the exception of what I need for a class I’m teaching on edible flowers in June at our local library.  Maybe the fact that all my seed stuff is disorganized and difficult to get to although, a determined person would make short work of gathering it all as it isn’t on the moon.  So lots of excuses but this one is heading towards a bright red flashing warning sign of a deadline approaching shouting, “Don’t even bother now cause it is too late”.  This week, they gotta go in.

So for May the list of projects to complete include getting all the seeds started, planting all the tender bulbs, corms and roots, completing the scraping of the floor, patching and etching it along with painting it, and figuring out what to do with the hole in the middle of my circle bed where the pond used to be.  Other non-garden projects include helping plan my little brother’s wedding, doing wedding dress alterations which includes putting in bustling for the train, wedding decorations and favors, a bridal shower party, helping another friend organize and work at her wedding, preparing for two garden classes, preparing for a trip to Iowa in early June where I will give dance classes and lead dance worship at a Shavuot gathering, and Tulip Time along with all the “normal” chores and tasks I need to do.

I need to be very very organized with my time and prioritize my lists.  One month…

May I be as busy and intentional as a bee…

Our new bee house for native bees to lay eggs.

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