Apr 112013
 

I know these are a bit over do, but I wanted to go ahead and post them anyway.  A picture is always worth a thousand words.  Besides, I like pictures.  I especially like showing you pictures that don’t involve a mess I made or am trying to clean up.

Cleaning the bathroom grout:

Before – notice the dark gray lines?  They are supposed to be a light beige or cream color.

bathroom tile floor before cleaning

Bathroom tile before cleaning 5

 

After – now that is much better.  Not the exact shade as what is under the tub (and hence never walked on), but it is much closer.

Bathroom tile after cleaning 2

 

The hardest part of cleaning the grout was the toilet.  Bar Keepers Friend ended up doing giving me the best results.  Of course that was after trying 3 other things first.  =)  I promise I will never let it get like that again.  Especially now that I realize just how easy it is.  The handheld steamer and a scrub brush really do wonders and no chemical is needed.

Vent Covers:

Next came repainting a few of the vent covers in our house.  Being that our home is over 90 years old, there are at least three different styles of covers found through our home.  These are my favorite as they are decorative, not just utilitarian like modern day covers (which we also have some of), and are sturdy.  Due to time costraints I was only able to do three of these, though I have plans to do the rest at some point in the near future.

To the left of the covers, in the top photo, you can see the bottom portion belonging to two of the covers.  These attach to the tops by screws and the whole thing sits down into the duct opening.  This means you can see these very well.  After pulling them out I realized they needed a cleaning.  After trying a few things to wipe them out with while dry I found a S.O.S. pad to be the best.  I easily and quickly picked up dust and knocked off any trash or loose debris that had fallen through.  When it came time to paint I decided to paint these also.  Over time rust has started to appear on these.  Not only did a new coat of paint make them look really good, it also added a layer of protection.  The bathroom one really needed this extra layer as the added moisture in there had pretty much rusted the whole thing.  Due to these being made of more sturdy metal than just regular aluminum  like the ones you find today, the whole structure was solid.  I oiled it and added two coats of paint to all sides.  The rest of the vent cover bottoms got a coat of paint on the centers but not on the bottom sides.

Vent covers ready to be stripped 2

 

As the stripping chemical starts to work, the paint begins to bubble up and pull away from the metal.

Vent covers with paint stripping on them 2

 

I’m not sure why, but apparently at some point in the past someone had painted this one a particular shade of green.  It reminds me of Kelly Green.  Really …. why …. oh well.  Someone after that apparently thought the same thing I did which would explain why it was brown when I started (see the photo above).  I also found a spot of pink on one but that was all, a spot.  It seems that the layers, oldest to newest, went this way: black, green, brown.

Vent covers after first coast of paint stripping 2

 

It took two coast of the paint stripping medium and steel wool to get most of the paint off.  The first two covers were taken to the car wash to use a power sprayer on.  This was the get the smaller pieces out from among the detail.  Need an exercise to practice your patience?  Try removing paint from items with detail.  Small detail that is hard to get even a tooth brush into.  After that I stopped by the hardware store and picked up some steel wire brushes.  That is what I used on the third, and final, cover and it worked so much better.

And in case you weren’t sure, make sure to wear gloves, not let this stuff get on you, and be aware that it will eat away at plastic if you should happen to spray it on something by accident.  (I learned that the first time I was stripping something when we first moved into the house.  The CD player still works, but it has some scars from the experience.)  Keep kids and pets away.  Also, eye protection is probably a good thing if you tend to splatter stuff.  I think it would be a good idea when using this stuff even if you don’t tend to splatter things.

Below you see the covers devoid of paint and drying off in the sun after a good hosing down.

Stripped vent covers 2

 

This happened to be a wind day, but was one of the few nice (sunny and above freezing) days we had in a long time.  It was also going to turn cold in the following few days.  Sometimes you have to make due with what you have.  Besides, I know from previous experience that a light spraying of spray paint of concrete will eventually wear off.  I thought I did pretty well till I noticed earlier this week that we have faint rectangles in our concrete.  This also explains the mysterious black spots on some of the toys (see them in the photo below) I saw the other day.

Vent covers with first coat of new paint

 

I finished these and installed them before my husband could see them.  They look so sharp and neat now, rather than old and messy.  Exactly what I was going for.

Removal of weeping cherry tree:

Somehow I forgot to take a before photo.  The dirt you see in the bottom of the picture below is actually the part of the yard where grass was shaded out by the limbs of the tree.  No grass would grow there, but weeds did just fine.

It took about 4 days of cutting on this tree before we finally got it removed.  The first day I cut off all the limbs and piled them up.  (I have since moved them next to the compost pile and am slowly chopping up the limbs and adding them to the pile.  Larger pieces are being piled behind the structure to dry out for use as future fire wood.)  The next three days saw me working on the trunk with a hand saw.  I cut a bit each day.  The angle was hard and I would start to get frustrated.  It as at that point I would stop.

The stump is hard to see in the picture below.  It is the light spot in the upper middle of the photo.  The tree had a diameter of 5 – 6 inches.  Not large, but it sure was solid.

 

Weeping cherry tree removed

 

The kids had fun kicking the tree trunk to watch it move back and forth.  I let them do this at first to see that it wouldn’t move.  I told them to push as hard as they could and of course there was no movement.  The second day it moved a little.  The third day, of cutting on the trunk, the whole thing would vibrate quite nicely.

I ended up making a  hinge as there is a root on the left side of the picture below.  Cutting downward actually saved me time.  As I got closer to that point, coming from the right, I knew I was really close.  The tree was moving more and starting to shake.  For the final strokes I had the kids push and pull the tree.  They thought it was so need to “knock a tree over”.  The trunk was quickly confiscated and has a new life as a ‘couch’ in their ‘house’ under the limbs knocked down by the major snow storm.  I told them they could do with it whatever they wanted, as long as it stayed out of the road.  Since it is so heavy, I honestly don’t think they could do much moving with it.

 

Weeping cherry tree stump

 

With the tree gone I was able to plant two blackberry bare root plants.  Here is one of them.  It isn’t much to look at but I have high hopes for them.  Besides, it would be nice to have some landscaping do something besides just look pretty.

Blackberry bush bare root transplant

 

I don’t have a picture of the final soup I made, but we had it last week and it was so good.  The search for a trashcan is still on going.

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes)
  13. Put out a bird bath
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each
Apr 022013
 

30 days 21 projects photo

Math is one topic I loved in school.  Numbers still have an appeal for me.  Apparently, though, my math was a bit off this time.  I had it in my head that the 30 Days was going to end on Thursday.  Then I sat down to post today’s progress, did the math and realized my mistake. Today is the end of the 30 days.  Did it creep up on anyone else?

This time perfectionism is not going to get in the way.  The day is not done yet and I am actually on my way outside to finish #5 and #6 on the list.  I started yesterday, realized a part I thought I had was used previously.  After trying a few things as substitutes, and finding them not the right tool, I spent the $3.50 at the hardware store and got what I really needed – wire brushes.

#12 is almost done.  I have cut through half of the tree with my hand saw.  Once I have finished it (this afternoon?) I will plant the blackberry plants that came in the mail over the weekend.

#21 is also on the “to-do” list this week.  I decided that the last soup was going to be beef stew, of which I have all the ingredients.  I may end up on the stove tonight just to get it completed, though may not.  Either way, it is going to be done by the end of the week.

I am actually battling a cold right now that is zapping me of energy, giving me a headache and making is almost impossible to talk.   (I lost my voice due to coughing.)  Yet, I am not sitting around.  I am doing what I can. This means that whatever gets done today, gets done.  What doesn’t get done today will happen tomorrow.  And I am okay with that.  (However, it has to get done tomorrow as I am right against the self imposed deadline to redo my raised beds.  The weather is turning warmer and I want to take advantage of it.  Onions sets are waiting to go in the ground and strawberry plants are expected in this week.  In order to get both of those planted I need soil and beds in which to plant them.  This will be a post later in the week, but may explain some quietness on the blog in the next few days.)

No time is ever THE perfect time.  I am feeling under the weather, the kids are be home for spring break and asking a zillion questions, the laundry needs done, there is dust in more places than I want to admit, and the front porch needs cleared off (weekly goal).  However, I can find things about each day that are not perfect.  Life isn’t perfect.  So NOW is the time to just do those things that need to be done.

4 out of 21 projects are not completed.  Not perfect but I am very happy with the results of the past 30 days.  Another way to look at this is – I have completed 17 projects in the past month!  That is 17 projects done that were still hanging around unfinished as of last month.  I am glad to have not saved the largest projects for the end.  Of the 4 projects left, a few are a bit more complicated, but none are huge.

Lists of my 21 Projects:

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes) – work in progress
  13. Put out a bird bath
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each – work in progress.  3 soups made.

The projects in bold above are ones that I either and working on today, or plan to begin tonight.  I actually finished one project this morning and another one was put on hold at lunch time.

The cherry tree has been worked on a bit at a time and is almost done.  There was a small debate in my head yesterday concerning this project – break down the limbs to compost in my pile, but add time to the projects OR take them to the town’s disposal sight and get done sooner.  I decided to add the limbs to the compost pile rather than taking them to the town’s yard waste disposal site.

How have you done completing projects this past month?  Just by thinking about what needs to be done have you found yourself doing some of them?

 

Mar 302013
 

30 days 21 projects photo

Two more projects were crossed off the list Thursday.  Yes, that means this post is a few days late.  It is also photo free since the pictures are on the camera at home, but I’m not at home.  We are visiting family for the Easter weekend.  When I get back I’ll add them to the next post.

The two projects I recently worked on, and finished, involved cleaning the grout in the bathroom and sealing it.  For something that is supposed to be done every year, it has been 4 years since I did it.  What kept me from doing it earlier?  Perfectionism.  I really thought I wasn’t a perfectionist.  However it seems that for every project on this list I am finding that the main reason I haven’t gotten to them was due to perfectionism, not lack of time.  I wasn’t sure of the RIGHT way to clean the grout, the RIGHT cleaner to use, the RIGHT sealant to use, the RIGHT brush … in the end I used the cleaner and sealant our local hardware store had.  I used a brush I had in the basement from a previous cleaning job I did.  Also, I found that my steamer worked much better than the cleaner and it smelled better too.

The biggest thing that was keeping me from this job were the stains around the edge of the toilet.  Over time a little miss here and a little miss there had created stains in the grout right at the edge where it meets the toilet.  After trying what I thought would work I gave in a searched the Internet for an answer.  What seemed to be the most recommended, a special cleaner, would have required an extra trip to the store on a night where I didn’t really have time.  I decided to try the “home remedies” first.  The first two didn’t have any impact.  The third one did, though I didn’t know it till the morning when the grout was completely dry.  I was so mad at it the night before I had given up and put everything away in a huff.  In the morning when I saw the stains were completely gone I felt bad about my unjustified anger (really, I was just overly annoyed) at the grout.  =)  I finished cleaning the other parts of grout around the toilet, as I had tried all the different ways to clean in one spot rather than having to do six different places each time.

Next came two applications of grout sealer and the job was done.  4 years of perfectionism done away with in about a day and half of work (with lots of down time in there).

We will be visiting family through Sunday.  Monday I am hoping to tackle the next big project left on my list, which I actually broke down into two parts – stripping and repainting vent covers in several rooms of my house.  Once those are done the remaining projects are pretty small and should go quickly.

While I can’t actually do any of the projects while I am away this weekend, I can think about them.  I really need to figure out a 4th soup recipe to make and freeze.  By the time I go home tomorrow I hope to have one in mind.  3 more days till Day 30 comes.  I’m hoping to make it as close as I can, but foresee two of the projects remaining unaccomplished by that time.  We’ll see if that thought comes true or it these will all be accomplished.

Lists of my 21 Projects:

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes) – work in progress
  13. Put out a bird bath
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each – work in progress.  3 soups made.

How is your list coming?  Have you challenged yourself on anything lately?  What was the result?  Did you find it more difficult than you anticipated or did things get easier as you went along?

Mar 262013
 

30 days 21 projects photo

Lists of my 21 Projects:

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes) – work in progress
  13. Put out a bird bath
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each – work in progress.  3 soups made.

Above I have put in bold, red letters the project I am hoping to work on today.  I may get that one done or another one.  I may get more than one done.  Laying in bed this morning I had grand plans, but then realized that it was still dark outside and all things seem much easier while laying in bed thinking about doing them.  They also don’t seem to take near as long at that time of morning in that particular position.  Add to that some other things that need to get taken care of today I need to not forget that there are people who are counting on me for food and attention.  We’ll see what the day brings.

I am really starting to feel the crunch time on this.  7 more days to go.  This involved being gone from home for 3.5 of those days.  It also involved a snow storm which kept kids home from school on Monday and us inside Sunday night.  One thing I was able to do was to upload pictures that were on my camera and had not made it to the blog yet.  Here are some of the photos I have taken, both of the snow and of projects from the list.

The first two are of the new bird bath placed in the yard.  I decided to put it among the rose bushes for a few reasons.  One being that the previous owners had a statue or such here and left the concrete blocks.  Also, I thought it would look really nice during the summer when the bushes are all green and full of blooms.

Bird bath among rose bushes

bird bath reflecting cloudy sky

Here is how it looked Monday morning with 10 inches of snow on it (we had an inch more, but some was blown off of here I believe.

snow on rose bushes and bird bath

Yes, there is a bird bath under there.  By lunch time Monday all the snow was melted off.  The temperatures just weren’t right to have the snow hang around any longer.

depth of snow on bird bath in inches

10 inches on the bird bath

snow depth on birdbath in centimeters

This meant about 24 or 25 cm.

snow filled basketball hoop

I would have never thought that a basket ball net would actually catch and hold snow.  The wind was blowing very had, though, and it was wet enough to stick.

snow on trees and back deck

snow on trees and deck

snow on trees

If you look close enough you can tell that the branches are bending.  Not only is this due to the weight of the wet snow, but also because these are soft wood trees.  They were created to bend easily under weight.  For the most part they will come back to their normal stance without incident.  Now hickory trees are the exact opposite.  They are hard woods and don’t bend easily.  They will hold up under weight but are more likely to break.  This is also why you don’t see baseball bats made out of pine wood.  The ball just wouldn’t be hit as far.

Mar 232013
 

I had all but given up on yesterday holding anything that would show progress on this list of 21 projects.  However, I was wrong.  After getting home a bit after 3 p.m. I decided it was time to go outside some and enjoy the nice (above freezing) weather.  If the kids were going to play outside, then I may as well make the most of the nice weather and get something productive done.  I considered breaking up tree limbs from the work done so far on Project #12.  However, I knew that I wouldn’t have time to also remove them from the yard.  Then I realized that if it was warm enough, I could paint the post in our from yard (Project #4).  So that is what I did. After gathering paint, sandpaper, steel wool, and a wet rag I went to do battle.  The air was quickly let out of my balloon when I realized the project was much easier than I was making it.  I didn’t need the sandpaper or steel wool, actually as the rust was very superficial.  I wiped down the post and painted it.  Looks brand new.

Now, this is something others may not notice but which I enjoy knowing looks so much better.  In the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn’t add a lot of our curb appeal.  At least it no longer takes away.  Also, it is part of a larger plan of mine to work more on the outside of the house this summer.  This plan began last fall with the reduction in the front flower bed, in hopes of having an actual flower bed rather than a week bed.  The post was the second step.  Step three is most likely getting a load or two of wood chips to spread around the bushes along the walkway and in the beds in the front yard.

What is in store for today?  Good question.  This is definitely going to be a family day.  A visit to a farm will begin the morning and the afternoon will see a larger meal being made at home.  A meal that will include ribs, potato salad, shredded carrot salad, corn on the cob and cookie cupcakes with raspberry fluff frosting.  I’ll let you know how it all goes.  As for projects I think it will be the day to work on some of the “in progress” projects. 

Lists of my 21 Projects:

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes) – work in progress
  13. Put out a bird bath
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each – work in progress.  3 soups made.
I’m not sure how it is, but it feels as if there is so much left to do.  Yet the list proves that so much has been done already.  9 projects completed and 3 are works in progress.  That is 12 out of 21 projects worked on.  Why is it I am seeing the glass half empty today?
Is anyone else having trouble staying positive about their list of projects?
Mar 212013
 

My last post of this series was 4 days ago.  About two days ago I was starting to feel the effects of no accountability, even if it just in the way of posting my progress.

“They’ll never know if I take the day off.”

“Oh, the project can wait.  I have a new book to read.”

“But I don’t WANT to!”  Yes, said in a whiny toddler voice.

The last one is what did it for me because my mom voice replied, “I don’t remember asking if you wanted to do it.  You said you would, now go do it.”

I knew my plan for this week (even though I didn’t post my goals) involved doing Projects #2 and #3.  Not only doing them, but finishing them.  I had previously started on these two projects in our downstairs bathroom.  This left two more rooms to work on.  I knew that it would probably take me all week to get these two rooms done.  Mainly due to others wanting my attention at home (i.e. little ones).  I also had 4 different meetings on the schedule, on taking a whole morning.  As it happened, I was able to get a young lady to come for a couple hours two days in a row to play with the little ones while I worked on these projects.  Was it worth it?  Instead of taking 5 days to finish these projects, I got them done in 2.  So, yes, it was worth it for me.  At least, it was this time and under the particular circumstances of the young lady being available to babysit. The timing was too perfect.

There are 12 more days till the end of the 30 days.  If you see the list below I have 10 more projects to start and finish, and other 3 to finish.  That works out to just over 1 per day.  Since life happens, I am planning on doing, or working on, more than 1 each day.  Tomorrow is a great example of life happening.  I have a meeting that will take up the latter part of the morning.  However, driving to and from the meeting will mean that my whole morning and early afternoon is taken up.  Since my largest project, in terms on space, has been complete I should be able to do just that.  For example, I can strip vents in the garage one night and repaint them the next morning.  Then that afternoon our outside activity could involve hauling off the limbs from the tree I started to take down.  If it were to  happen this way, I would get three projects done in two days.  Adjusting to life and seeing it as a challenge rather than using it as excuse to not do something has been the only way I have gotten through my list of projects.  It hasn’t been easy, but it has been very much worth it.  I love knowing that the painting is done, the weeping cherry tree is almost removed (just in time to expect my  new blackberry bushes) and my pantry is in order.  These are things I used to grumble about almost daily.  No longer.  I have found that not only have these projects have gotten done, but so have others.  Discipline begets discipline.

Lists of my 21 Projects:

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes) – work in progress
  13. Put out a bird bath
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each – work in progress.  3 soups made.
It doesn’t feel as if these 30 days are almost up, but they are.  I am excited to not only see what other projects get completed, but also to keep going on marking things off my list.
How has your thinking changed as you have worked your way through your project list?  Are you feeling like you are getting more done?  What does you list look like?
Mar 162013
 

Perfectionism has tried to work its way in while doing this list of projects.  I’m so glad I have not given in to it a lot so far.  For example, yesterday, the plan was to spend time in the morning putting up painters’ tape in the second room and applying a second coat of paint to the first room.  That didn’t happen.  Instead, I picked up around the house, returned something to the hardware store, picked up a few items while there (for #4 and #6 below), picked up a few items from the grocery store, sorted laundry and started a load.  The afternoon found me making supper (see #21 below), mopping the kitchen floor, then taking advantage of the nice weather outside. (see #12 below, I wish I could show you pictures.  I forgot to take them last night and right now it is 4:55 am, dark and rainy.  Not exactly really good setting to take photos outside.)  I also added another meeting to the calendar for next week.  These things do seem to come in groups.  I sort of prefer it that way, as I would rather have one week busy than two weeks just messed up.  (Yes, I have been having a lot of meetings lately, but we also have a lot going on here at home. Such is life sometimes.)

Today is going to see me gone all day, so I’m honestly not sure what today is going to hold.  I feel okay taking a day off from working on projects, as I worked on two yesterday.

Lists of my 21 Projects:

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames – work in progress.  First coat done on spots in first room.
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes) – work in progress.  All limbs are cut off.
  13. Put out a bird bath
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each – work in progress.  3 soups made.
I love seeing progress being made on the list of projects.  Even better is to see several things marked off.  The 30 days is almost half way over.  So far 6 of my projects have been completed, with 3 more in some stage of completion.  By Day 15 I want to have 10 or more of the projects completed.
How is your list coming?  Do you think you will be halfway through in two more days?  Does knowing that “half way through” is in two more days make you feel behind or motivated?  What can you do today to work towards completing one of your projects?
Mar 142013
 

 

Yesterday, I was able to finish the first coat of paint in our downstairs bathroom.  This was the quickest of rooms that needed touching up on paint.  The areas were mainly places on the wall that had been damaged or marked up the past few years.  Also included were areas around trim or door frames that were missed when the room was painted originally or were damaged when door frames were changed out.  I also took the time to patch a place on the wall were a hook has come off, taking some of the paint and drywall paper with it.  That area needs to be sanded and painted today, as well as a second coat on the other areas.

On the list below, I have marked (bold and in red) two projects I am going to be working on the next few days.  I decided to put both of these together as they really are related.  It doesn’t matter which I do, painters tape will need to be up, paint brushes out and the ladder needs to be brought in from the garage.  (We have very high ceilings on the main floor of our home, which means I can’t reach the top of what needs painting just by standing on a chair.)  Some places need priming, others just paint.  I am not sure if I will take this one room at a time, or do two rooms at once.  It will depend upon how much time I have and how long a step will take.

Today I am going to be gone all morning, then have a meeting at my house over lunch.  Nap times have been decreased this week (in hopes of having easier/better bed times), so I will have a shorter time frame in which to work than I have become accustomed to.  Also, Saturday will find me gone before the sun rises and home after bed time.  I doubt I will be painting then, though I might be installing an outlet cover.  This is mainly to keep chipping away at projects.  Yes, I could take a whole weekend and knock out several projects, but I don’t have the time for that.  What I do have the time to do, right now, is work on them a bit at a time.  If I do a little each day the progress will add up and soon I’ll have them all done.  A saying of FlyLady’s that I like is, “Anything can be done 15 minutes at a time.”  I completely agree.  One thing I have come to find out, though, is you actually need to get up and do those 15 minutes.  Dreaming and thinking about doing them doesn’t get you very far.  =)

Lists of my 21 Projects:

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames – work in progress.  1st coat in one room completed.
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes)
  13. Put out a bird bath
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each – work in progress.  2 made and frozen.
How is your progress on your projects?  Have you come upon any bumps along the way?  Do you find you have larger blocks of time to focus, or have to fit the projects in where you can?
Mar 132013
 

 

Did anyone notice a lack of post yesterday?  Life happened.  Between trying to shorten nap times for a little one, car battery dying, redoing lunch and supper plans and 6 loads of laundry a post just didn’t make it onto the computer.  Sorry about that. What still did happen was work on a project.  Actually, I worked on 3 projects.  Day 8 I wanted to work on spackling the stairway.  What happened instead was making one of the soups and quadrupling a corn bread recipe to make a dozen corn bread muffins four times.

On Day 8 a little friend was supposed to come for a few hours mid morning.  So, when the one kid didn’t adjust to the time change very well and stayed home from school (no nap for three days and didn’t go to sleep till 12:30 a.m.), our morning was thrown off a bit.  Not only where we trying to be quiet so that one could sleep, but I was also trying to not get into the middle of a project before the friend came. The friend ended up not coming, but a few hours of the day had already gone by before getting the call about this.  So much for the normal Monday morning routine.  When lunch came I figured the least I could do was work on one of the projects and multiply the amount of chili I was making.  Spackling of the stairway did not get done, however.

Day 9 was better, if not just as annoying schedule wise.  I was able to Spackle the stairway, make another soup (times 4, as we also had it for supper) and we put up the birdbath that came in the mail. (We had to order it since the store had none in stock.)  I also did a few more finishing touches on the bathroom upstairs.  After Day 8, I realized that there was no one right way to do a project.  When I first started I imagined myself taking a day or two per project, working on one at a time.  Yesterday reminded me that perfectionism should not be allowed to get in the way.  The goal was to work on a project (or two or three) each day so that progress was being made.  The goals wasn’t to complete only one project each day.

Today, I am going to continue down the list of painting related projects.  This shouldn’t take too long.  It will also work well with what needs to be done.  No 6 loads of laundry to do today.  I do  have my normal 1 load to do, as well as picking up.  So far, the schedule looks nice and boring.

Lists of my 21 Projects:

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes)
  13. Put out a bird bath
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each – work in progress.  Two soups made.
Have all your projects gone as you anticipated?  Have you found a rhythm different than you thought it would be?  Keep up the work and soon you will start to see your list getting smaller.
Mar 112013
 

 Do you feel a bit refreshed after the day off yesterday?  I know I do.  Here is what I did instead.

  1. Sat on the couch under a blanket, with the kids, and watched a movie.  (I read while they watched.)
  2. See above.
  3. See above.
  4. See above.
  5. Made chocolate butterhorns with the kids.
  6. Made a cake with the kids.
  7. Warmed up leftovers for lunch.
  8. Cleaned up.
  9. Ate dessert.
  10. Sat on the couch under a blanket, with the kids, and watched a movie.  (I read while they watched.)
  11. See above.
  12. See above.
  13. See above.
  14. See above.
  15. Put together a delicious meal of a bit of this and that (some was supposed to be used in other ways for supper.)
  16. Ate dessert.
  17. Put kids to bed.

It was a very not strenuous day.  My husband and I both commented that we have not done this before and weren’t sure why not.  We both agreed that we try to do too much and need to have more days like this.

 

Today is a bit off as a little friend is coming for a few hours late morning.  Also, I believe one kid will be staying home from school, unless that particular kid wakes up on their own.  (It was a rough night sleep wise.)  A great day for an “easy” project.  The temperature isn’t as warm as I wanted it to be, but so is life.  I had planned on making soups today, but think that will have to wait a few days.  No grocery shopping for me today to pick up those last few items which I don’t have yet.  If the painting projects go well, the soups may have to wait till next week.  They aren’t going anywhere, so I’m not in a rush to do them.  It just seemed like a great thing to do on a rainy day.

Lists of my 21 Projects:

  1. Spackle stairway walls
  2. Prime spots to be painted (from previous replacement of door and window frames)
  3. Paint spots around door and window frames
  4. Repaint Horse post by street
  5. Strip vent covers in bathroom and kitchen
  6. Repaint bathroom and kitchen vent covers
  7. Seal pots and paint with chalkboard paint (to be used with herb plants on the deck)
  8. Add outlet cover for washer/dryer
  9. Add outlet cover for outlet on front porch
  10. Check credit report
  11. Replace light fixture in stairway
  12. Remove weeping cherry (to create a place for blackberry bushes)
  13. Put out a bird bath – work in progress
  14. Buy new kitchen trash can – work in progress
  15. Organize and label kitchen pantry
  16. Move clothing totes to back of crawl space (instead of right in front), add shoe rack and rod to hang winter coats
  17. Divide out future clothing sized into clear totes, label
  18. Put camping stuff in tote(s), label
  19. Clean bathroom grout
  20. Seal bathroom grout
  21. Make and freeze 4 different soups, 3 months worth each