Category Archives: Housekeeping – Maintenance

New Careers?

My husband and I have decided to consider becoming weather forecasters post-retirement. I say this because –

  • we FINISHED the demolition of the 2nd failed brick planter, AND
  • we also put a tarp over my cement mixer behind the shop that we use to mix Mel’s Mix (the special soil replacement ingredients we use in our raised bed square foot planters

Because of these two things, we can practically assure everyone that the 40% chance we had of rain tomorrow morning is no longer applicable.

If we HADN’T finished and the soil wasn’t covered up, we would have had a deluge. We have proved this several times before in the 30+ years we’ve lived here. :0)

I’m thinking of calling our local weather guys and girls and letting them know there should be a change in the forecast….

Here is the 2nd 8 foot x 1-1/2 foot demolished-waiting-for-spring-for-us-to-rebuild-the-planter.

We did the work today in record time because the plant roots remaining weren’t completely root-bound and also we learned the best tools to use and techniques on the FIRST failed planter we demolished.

 

I hope the other people who live in our area weren’t depending on it raining tomorrow…. :0)

2 Comments

Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects, Mother Nature

Planter Project

 

Yesterday I told you that the weather forecast was for good weather until Tuesday of next week, when we’re due for another ‘wintry mix.’  I was happy because we wouldn’t be rushed on our demolishing of the 2nd of 2 planters that were falling apart.

Well, when I checked today, the forecast is NOW for a 40% chance of rain TOMORROW – morning!  Arrrrgh!!!!!!

You can see where we are now. We just finished our errands for the day and are resting a bit before we tackle this again. Since there is a good chance for rain tomorrow, we really need to see if we can get the dismantling done today, including digging out the remaining plants, digging out the rest of the potting soil, knocking down and hauling off the rest of the bricks, and then wrapping the tarp around the soil and putting bricks on top to try to save as much of the soil as possible for the rebuild in the spring.

My nose is out of joint right now about this –

  • It’s Valentine’s Day and I was hoping for a quiet day, with some time up in my art room. (We got some jumbo shrimp at the seafood place on the way home today from taking our tax stuff to our CPA. I peeled and cooked it, and it is cooling in the back fridge – but we may be dozing in our recliners from sheer exhaustion, rather than enjoying it tonight.)
  • We are a bit ‘long-in-the-tooth for this project. It’s probably a good character-building exercise to do it ourselves, but it would be so NICE not to have to get the whole demolition part into two days…

Okay. I hear you. Enough with the griping and on with the DOING.

I’ll post pics later today – or tomorrow… :0)

Leave a comment

Filed under character-building exercises, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Part II of Brick Planter Redo

Awhile back I told you that two of our brick planters desperately needed to be rebuilt. My husband tried to dig out a hydrangea bush in one of them and the whole front of the planter fell down into the yard. We spent the next few days digging out the plants, shoveling the potting soil onto a tarp, hauling the bricks out of the way, and then wrapped up the soil as best we could to try to save as much as possible for the spring rebuild.

Today on the way back from errands, my husband said he thought we should take advantage of the spring-like weather today and start demolishing the second planter.

 

We worked for a couple of hours so far. We got a huge hydrangea plant out that was totally root-bound. We knocked off as much soil as possible and then wheel-barrowed the remains and dumped it ‘off the edge of the earth’ (past the edge of what we call the civilized part of our 8 acres.)

We’ve moved a lot of bricks and potting soil, but decided to admit we’re old and call it a day.

 

Tomorrow we’ll hit it again. The weather forecast says we don’t have bad weather until Tuesday of next week. I hope they’re right. We would like to get this part of the project wrapped up as soon as possible.

In the spring, we’ll rebuild the two planters. We already purchased the bricks. We’re not sure if these planters failed because the mortar we used on them was bad, or that they had enough water in them that didn’t drain out properly and froze, breaking up the sides.

We built 14 brick planters around the yard and only 2 failed, so that’s a reasonable amount of success. These lasted over 20 years before failing, so hopefully they’ll last until long after WE are gone.

Hopefully, more progress pictures tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Today’s Continuing Project

When we built our home over 30 years ago, we used an entire room off the kitchen as our pantry. I’m lucky because we have a lot of space. It also causes some problems because I tend to stash way too much STUFF in here!

I went through our pantry when we switched to Nutrisystem almost a year ago. I cleaned a bunch of stuff out, gave away a bunch, packed other things away for much later….

Now we’re doing more flex meals, plus branching out. I need to reorganize the pantry so that things are easy to find, easy to get to, etc.

The side of the pantry in the picture above is the food side of the pantry.

On the back side is the pantry fridge, and then an L-shaped bunch of shelves that hold cleaning supplies, paper supplies, cooking pots, canning stuff – you name it.

I’m now working on getting things organized so that I can cook more without having to move a bunch of STUFF in order to get the pan I need, the ingredients I need….

I’m trying to do a bit each day. Today I’m giving it an extra push because it’s cold and rainy outside, we don’t need to go anywhere, and I want to accomplish more today than laundry and vacuuming. (Already done!)

I’m concentrating on the non-fo0d part of the pantry today. I’ll take pics if I make enough progress.

 

6 Comments

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

My Day

Funny Life Quotes

The rest of my house needs work, but our kitchen and dining area is finally clean. I basically spent all day on them. It was one of those ‘one-thing-leads-to-another things, where there was no place to stop once I really got going. The only problem now is that I don’t want to mess it up by cooking anything!

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Friday’s Reorganization Project

We use Pyrex bowls on a daily basis to eat out of, store food in, etc. We made the mistake of stacking them neatly, only to find that they stuck together. We had to devise a way to get them apart without breaking one or both of the stuck bowls – which worked intermittently. We started stacking them in the messy fashion you see above in order to keep them from sticking together.  We put all the lids together, but you try to pull one out and usually end up with a handful, or some falling onto the floor…

I recently bought a book called, “The REALSIMPLE Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it That Way” by the makers of RealSimple magazine.

As with any suggestions, some would be NICE but aren’t workable in a given situation. I did come across a good suggestion for our Pyrex bowl storage problem! They suggested we put the lids on the bowls and THEN stack them. DUH! I was hitting my head wondering why “I” didn’t think of this. I just implemented the suggestion –

My husband, who is nice enough to help me fill the dishwasher, empty it, and put things away again, might not agree this is a good solution, but I’ll ask him to TRY it with me. It certainly LOOKS better, doesn’t it?

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Planter Project

The brick-lined rectangular slab on the right used to be a planter. We built it several years ago, along with 13 others, and all of a sudden it wasn’t happy, its sides bowing out a bit. One other planter just like it at the opposite end of the house needs to come down, too.

We weren’t planning to do anything about this until the spring. :0(

My husband decided he would dig out one of the hydrangea bushes in it, and the whole front of the planter collapsed, forcing us to get things to a reasonable point before our winter got serious. We lucked out, getting a few days of spring-like weather, so we knocked down the other bricks, hauled them to behind the well house where we stacked them up, dug out the potting soil and put it on the tarp to the left of the photo. We spent part of several days demolishing the planter. We’re a bit long-in-the-tooth now and sledge-hammering, shoveling, and hauling bricks tires us out pretty quickly.

We got to the bottom layer of bricks, but no matter what we used, they wouldn’t budge. This means we’ll do the brick laying to rebuild the planter ourselves, since no pro would touch it. We wrapped up the potting soil in the tarp, got another one to put on the top and held it down with bricks – to save as much of the potting soil as we can.  Just in time,  since the rains came and now we have the smallest rectangular ‘lake’ in the world – the bricks holding the water in on top of the concrete slab.

We bought replacement bricks several months back, so when the weather is cooperative and warm enough for the mortar to set well, we’ll try to demolish the other wounded planter and then get busy with the rebuilding. Since we’re now seriously heading into winter, this will probably be it on the planter project until the spring.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

I’m Feeling Sassy!

YouTube

I’m feeling sassy this morning because my first floor carpet is CLEAN for the first time in several years!

I’ve vacuumed and spot-cleaned, when necessary, to the point the only CLEAN spots – where we used RESOLVE – showed up horribly. I had put off using a professional carpet cleaning service because I’m a slob, but I don’t like to advertise the fact any more than I must.  It’s depressing, though, to be doing all you can and for the carpet to still look grungy when you finish.

I finally called a company called, ChemDry. They serve the Crawford and Sebastian County area in Arkansas. They use a method that uses a lot less water and chemicals that are safe for kids and pets – a really important thing to me. I lucked out. I called one day and they were due to be in our area the next day so I got an appointment for 1:30 in the afternoon yesterday!

1:30 came and went, but then we got a phone call from the cleaning guy. He said they were running an hour late. I said, “Fine,” and we waited. They came right at 2:30. I showed them what we wanted done and they both listened carefully. They were very careful moving their equipment in and out, (a real challenge with dog gates in each doorway), very courteous, and total professionals. At one point they had me come in to look before they were finished. There was a clear line between where they had cleaned and what was left to be done. Very impressive!

Alex also told me about a product to use on spots on the carpet that is better than Resolve. It’s called Benefect Decon 30. It comes in a gallon jug. You pour some on the spot. Let it dry. If there is any ring, you wipe with a damp cloth. I ordered some on Amazon yesterday afternoon.

It took them approximately two hours to do our living room, office, and foyer. The only ones a bit frustrated at the activity were our dogs, who were out on the back porch. After the guys had gotten a good start, I went out and sat on the porch with our doggies, who welcomed me as if it had been YEARS since we had last seen each other, and then calmed down. I again left them after spending about an hour out there. We enjoyed it because it was a beautiful, unusually warm day for Arkansas in January, and I saw THREE PAIRS of cardinals in the evergreen trees in one side of our back yard!

I left a good review on their website and am trying this morning to call and talk to the nice lady who schedules appointments. I have put their name and phone number in my contacts list and will call them again. They also clean tile and grout!

As I’m moving small stuff back in place, I’m SMILING at my carpet!!!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Embarrassed

Yale Medicine

 

We have carpet cleaning people coming at 1:30 today to clean the carpet in our living room, office, and foyer on the first floor.

I’ve been moving the small stuff, but my husband insists he doesn’t want them to move anything except our chairs, as far as furniture is concerned.

Even with all the purging I’ve been doing over the past year, I’m amazed at how much STUFF we have on the floors!

I’m almost ready for them now. I vacuumed yesterday, but I know they’ll find a huge amount of dust, hair balls, and maybe even pencils, pens, cat toys, etc. under the heavy chairs. I’m hoping that they have really powerful vacuum cleaners when they come.

I chose a company called ChemDry because they don’t use nearly as much water. Their chemicals are safe for kids and pets (our two doggies and two cats will thank them for that. Our four fish are up on the divider between the kitchen and the dining area, so they don’t say much one way or the other.)  The carpet is supposed to be dry in 2 hours.

In the office, things are pretty unmovable, so we’ll just ask them to clean the areas that they can get to, moving only our chairs. We have huge metal file cabinets, my old desk, shelving, roll-around carpet pads, etc. If they can just make the areas they can get to cleaner, we’ll be happy.

The foyer is fairly clear of stuff. We’ll put the dogs out on the back porch. I’ve already moved their huge bed out there (along with a gazillion little things that were on the floors). My husband and I will probably stay in the dining area, reading books, while they work.

I feel the same way today that I do when someone replaces an appliance, and years worth of YUCK are under and behind them. I feel SURE that every other housekeeper in the world gets under and behind everything with a toothbrush, leaving the areas pristine. I’m a slob, finding all kinds of things I would rather do than clean house.

I’m still trying to get up into my art room and play, but I tend to zone out when I’m up there, so it won’t be this afternoon.

All appendages – plus my eyes – are crossed that – once they get over how dirty our carpet is – they will be able to do a good job for us.

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Frustrated

Shutterstock

I’m frustrated because it’s already Tuesday afternoon and my exercise plans are blown for the week.

I told you that I was going to do some combination of  DANCING exercise video, WALKING exercise video, the elliptical trainer, Wii Fit Plus, and yoga during Monday through Friday to try to keep moving, give myself a lot of variety, and try to increase my health and mobility.

THEN, our brick planter collapsed, sending brick everywhere.

We KNEW that this planter we built years ago and one other (both 8 feet long and a foot wide in front of our home at either end) were failing and would need to be replaced. We just didn’t plan on it right NOW. We figure the mortar we used was bad, since the other 12 planters we built are doing fine.

Once it collapsed, there was nothing to do but demolish the planter, haul the bricks over to a storage place behind the well house, shovel out the potting soil, and prep the area to rebuild it.

We’ve spent part of two days on it so far. We got down to the concrete slab we poured and the bottom round of bricks. We tried with a sledge hammer, pic-ax, and other tools to loosen the bottom round of bricks, but they wouldn’t budge. We have now decided to prep the area, raking rocks out of the way, wrapping up the potting soil in a tarp, and will re-brick the planter ourselves when the weather and temperature are good.

I’m about to go out and rake rocks. I’m not sure yet, whether we’ll go ahead and demolish the other planter or just hope it stays in one piece until spring.

I’m frustrated because I know this kind of activity doesn’t really take the place of official exercises. I can do a lot around the house or yard and not activate all the muscles that need it. Even raking rocks, wrapping up soil, sweeping, etc., isn’t the same as one of my more official avenues of exercise.

Tomorrow a carpet cleaning company is coming to clean our living room, office, and foyer. I’ll be relocating small stuff all morning in preparation for their work. Then, when the carpet is dry, we’ll be putting things back. A lot of labor, but –

I’ll just go with the flow and start my ‘official’ exercises NEXT week…

Leave a comment

Filed under exercise, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Plans vs Actuality Update

Bubonik

We tried to go back out to work on finishing demolishing the brick planter after a late lunch, but weren’t making much progress. We decided to call it a day and hit it again tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Plans vs Actuality

WLOX.com

This picture gives you a BIT of an idea of what we’ve been doing since yesterday afternoon.

My husband went out to see if he might be able to dig a hydrangea out of one of two brick planters that are suddenly falling apart in front of our home. (We think the mortar we used must have been bad.)  We built 12 others that are doing fine.

He just started to use a shovel – and part of the whole front of the planter came down with a crash. I was planning to go to my art room to play, and suddenly we were going to the local hardware store for two tarps for the “demolishing-the-planter” project.

We spread one tarp out and held it down with some of the bricks that had fallen off the planter. We spent an hour and a half yesterday trying to dig the big hydrangea out of one end of the planter. My husband dug and cut and I threw bricks into the wheelbarrow and carted them off behind our well house and then stacked them up. We FINALLY got the huge ball and roots of the hydrangea to let go and then spent 10 minutes with both of us working together trying to roll the ball off the end of the civilized portion of our front yard. (The rest is woods.) We called it a day right before dark.

Today we did errands, came home and had our Nutrisystem mid-morning snack. I came in to work on the computer and suddenly noticed things were quiet. (I had again been planning to go upstairs and play in my art room.)

________________

I looked around and discovered my husband had gone outside to tackle the planter again. I grabbed some gloves and went out to help.

We had another hydrangea, and I suggested we use a pick-ax to break it apart a little at a time. That seemed to work much better. My husband wielded the heavy pick-ax, then I shoveled up the dirt and threw it onto the pile on the tarp. This allowed each of us a bit of time to rest between periods of exertion.

We now have most of the potting soil on the tarp. We’re taking a break, drinking water, and relaxing a bit.

We’ll go back out and see if we can remove the rest of the bricks and then do an extensive clean up. We want to leave the concrete slab as clean as possible, raking the decorative rocks away from the edges of the slab. We’ll use a leaf blower to try to get the remaining soil out of the rocks. We’ll wrap up the tarp, putting bricks on top to keep the soil intact as much as possible.

We have another planter to do, but I’m not sure we’ll get to that one now. We have already purchased a pallet (or whatever you call it) of bricks to use to rebuild the planters. If we can find an expert to do it that we can afford, we’ll do it. If not, we’ll get busy mixing mortar in the spring…

Maybe TOMORROW I can play.

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Kitchen Reorganization Project is Finished!

EMGN

I’ve spent about 3 hours cleaning out the four junk drawers in the kitchen. I finished – finally – and then fixed some lunch for us.

The drawer on the right is the original junk drawer, and is still the most averse to organization. I mostly took things OUT. The drawer on the left is now tools.

 

Drawer # 3 on the right is left-over tools, such as levels, stud finders, razor blades and holders, and measuring tape. The last drawer is my microwave steam cleaner, rolling-pin, extension cord and toothpicks.

Not perfect, but I threw away a ton of stuff, relocated things, and then reorganized what was left. We should have a much easier time finding things now.

I have officially called the end to the kitchen project now – at least for this Phase II pass.

I’ll decide the next project tomorrow.

Right now I may curl up in my chair and take a nap.

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Morphing Junk Drawer

Yesterday I cleaned out four more kitchen drawers.

We have always had what we call a ‘junk drawer’ in any kitchen we have. It’s the place we put nails, screws, twist-ties, tools, and other odds-and-ends We might need.

The problem with living in a nice home for over 30 years is that – unless one is a good housekeeper, which I’m NOT

ONE junk drawer morphs into FOUR!

(The one we had set up got too full, so my husband moved some stuff out of the drawer next to it and put the new junk in there. And then, the next, and the next….)

Now we have FOUR junk drawers in the kitchen –

shutterstock.com

 

Drawer 1 – this is the ‘original’ junk drawer

Drawer 2

 

Drawer 3

 

Drawer 4

I know. We’re slobs. But we ARE trying to do better.

Today I will take EVERYTHING out. I’ll pitch a lot of things, relocate other things that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and then try to organize what we’re keeping.

I’ll try to keep it to TWO junk drawers.

Junk drawers will never be ‘neat,’ but we are wasting lots of valuable space.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Kitchen Reorganization Project Update

Original copyrighted work by Betty Ming Liu

(These aren’t MY kitchen drawers, but I wanted to give you a feel for what I’m dealing with.)

_________________

 

I’ve been through my kitchen and pantry once last year and made a lot of progress. Two drawers in our kitchen island, in particular, were jammed full of ‘stuff.’

I pulled everything out. I washed out the drawers and lined them with rubber sheet liners so things wouldn’t slide around in the drawers.

There were things in the drawers I honestly had no idea what their purpose was! I like having more than one of something, but enough is enough as far as duplicates.

I filled a large leaf bag with stuff from the two drawers, plus some things on my counters, plus things from a decorative wooden bar my husband mounted over the island where we have things hanging.

We took a donation to the Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store yesterday – two leaf bags of Christmas decorations, a two-piece 8-foot-tall fake Christmas tree and stand, and the leaf bag full of kitchen stuff.

Here are the two drawers after the purge –

Drawer 1

 

Drawer 2

Today I’ll do more in the kitchen purge, but I feel good to have a start on Phase II of getting rid of ‘stuff’ from our over 30-year-old home!

2 Comments

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

DeCluttering the Kitchen Project

Pinterest

I have been through my kitchen and pantry once in the past year, after 30-plus years of living in our home on top of a ridge line in Greenwood, Arkansas.

Last year I promised myself I would start somewhere – anywhere – and work my way through our home, taking everything out of a drawer, a shelf, a closet, and keeping what I wanted, giving away what I thought others might use or enjoy, and pitching the rest. I made it through everything with the exception of our garage and our shop – areas my husband protects with his life. He doesn’t actually stand at the doors and guard, but he does it verbally.

Now I’m in Phase II of the big clean-out.

Today’s project is going through the drawers in the kitchen. Too many of them are full of ‘stuff,’ – gadgets that haven’t been used, too many duplicates, etc. Too many ‘junk’ drawers!

I’m going to see how much I can accomplish this afternoon. I have a donation ready for us to take to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith tomorrow, but I might be able to fill another large leaf bag before then that I can add to the list and we can take at the same time.

I hope that you are starting 2019 with energy. I’m trying to make each day count.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Project for the Day is Done!

EducationNews.org

The bins in the basement are empty. The Christmas decorations are now down and stored in ONE large lidded bin. The bin is now stored under the stairway.

I still need to make a list of the donation for the Veterans Thrift Store, but I can do that tomorrow. We won’t make the donation until after the first of the year.

The spaghetti sauce with meat is simmering on the stove. I have a cup of coffee and my book.

All in all, a great day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

BONUS!

Lifebuzz

I’m about 2/3 finished with my project of going through the Christmas decorations in the basement. I emptied the three bins, and several more I found that didn’t have much in them. I made a major decision and brought up the big fake Christmas tree we’ve had for years. We have another, much smaller tree that we can decorate when we want to. I like the idea of some other family enjoying the large tree, handmade stand my husband constructed, plus ornaments that are too large for our smaller tree.

BONUS: My husband bought me a really nice, furry blue jacket with a hood several years ago. We’ve kept it in a bin down in the basement because I couldn’t wear it after a couple of years. Neither of us wanted to give it away. I tried it on today and it’s LOOSE!  I wore it when I came upstairs. My husband recognized it immediately and broke out in a grin. It’s now in the closet, ready to put on! HOORAY!!!!!

I have one large leaf bag full of things we’ll donate, plus the tree, so far. I have more to go through in the basement and then can make final decisions, bring everything upstairs and put it into the bin in the living room. I may have to pare down what I’m keeping again as I see what will fit in the ONE bin I’m allowing for decorations!

I’m taking a break, drinking a big bottle of water, and resting awhile before giving it another shot.

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, DIET!, exercise, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Less is More

After a wonderful Lunch Bunch this morning, I’m devoting the rest of the day to two things: reading a good book and starting a new project – going through the gazillion Christmas decorations I have.

THING ONE:

I’m enjoy re-reading my Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I’m currently re-reading # 15 (out of 25 that have been written.) I discovered I didn’t have #23 and #24, so I ordered them from Amazon. #25 is now in hardback. I’ll wait until I can get it used in paperback before adding that to my collection. I LOVE the main character. I find her quirky, half nuts, and quite endearing. Her friends, co-workers, and relatives make up a truly wacky group, one I find addictive. I’m trying to do something useful each day, and then enjoy as much reading time as I can get.

THING TWO:

My house is pretty well-decorated since our son is home from Thailand for the first time in over 3 years. I wanted things to look festive. My son and husband were asked to vote on whether they wanted to add a Christmas tree. Both thought we were festive enough without it.

Besides all the things I have out, my son helped pull down three other large bins from a shelf in the basement. I’m going to be starting down there, dividing things up into two groups – (1) things I HAVE to keep (at least for now) and (2) things I can donate.  I’m going to take my time – not having a particular deadline, but my goal is to pare things down to ONE large bin that I will store somewhere where “I” can get it out easily when wanted, rather than having to worry about my husband and I hurting ourselves.

This may take several days to do, or it may go quickly. I won’t know for sure until I get started. The only thing I DO know at this point, is that I’ll get lots of good exercise, going up and down the stairs bringing stuff up as decisions are made and bags are filled.

I’ll add the current decorations that are up now into the bin and bag up things to donate after the first of the year.

I spent all last year trying to go through 30+ years of accumulation of STUFF. I did a good job and we’re in much better shape than we were. Now I have a good START and will continue Phase II of the project through 2019.

My new mantra is “Less is more.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering, Reading is FUNdamental

Christmas Gifts to our Fish

Since our son has been home visiting and my concentration has been on spending as much time with him as possible, I’ve been neglecting my fish a bit. Today I remedied that by taking every one and every thing out of the aquarium, thoroughly cleaning and vacuuming it, putting in fresh decorations and fresh water, and finally putting the sweet fish back.

 

Here’s a close-up of my four fish. They have tripled in size since we got them at the exclusive emporium of Walmart in Fort Smith, Arkansas, even though there was a learning curve on what filters to use and what size, how much oxygen they needed in the form of bubbles, etc. They are altogether in one corner, wriggling and opening and closing their mouths at me because they thought they could get me to feed them again, although I already had this morning. They were right – and they got more food. :0)

 

My friend Linda gave me this “rain wall” for Christmas. I think it’s lovely. I decided to share it with our fish as a nice Christmas gift , thinking they might get a kick out of it. So far, not one of them has mentioned it or shown any sign they think it’s neat. That’s okay, because “I” love it enough for ALL of us!

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Sunday’s Project

Getty Images via FreeImages.com

I’ve told you that our son is home from Thailand for the first time in over three years. I can’t tell you what a wonderful time we’re having, with lots of good conversations, a few really bad movies, lots of laughs, hugs, and more.

One thing I wanted to do while he was home was go through the things we have that are his. I made sure he understood that whatever he wanted to store here, he could. I just wanted to know if there was anything he really didn’t need or want anymore that we could either sell or donate. It turned out there were a BUNCH of things that could go.

He brought things down from the guest room and up from the basement. He consolidated the things he wanted to keep in a big lidded tub in the basement. Yesterday I went through all the books, listing some for sale on Amazon and bagging up the rest to donate to the local library for their next fundraiser.

Today’s project is that I’m going through all the other ‘stuff’ he no longer needs or wants, listing things to donate to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store. Our foyer is pretty full, although the picture I chose for this post is a bit of an exaggeration. :0)

We will end up with several large leaf bags of donation, so I brought one bag into the office to gather trash before I started on the foyer. Suddenly our son was here with a trash bag, gathering the trash! He’s a keeper, for sure.

I’m cooking for the holiday tomorrow, so I want to get this accomplished today.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day, too!  Wish me luck!!!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under giving, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Housekeeping Style

Rebel Circus via Doreen Adamson-Liber

Leave a comment

Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

A “Frog Strangler?”

Almaz UK via Flickr

Our wonderful guy who helps us keep our driveway drive-able came this morning. The last rain we had was super heavy and caused deep ruts to form. Then UPS and other good delivery people had trouble negotiating the steep 650 foot+ driveway and made deep holes where their tires spun. We were in a mess.

Eric brought his tractor and got to work without saying a word to us – just started making magic. Within 20 minutes our driveway was smooth and beautiful again. He said, “This should hold you a while, unless we get a frog strangler tomorrow.” I had never heard this term before, even having lived in Arkansas for over 30 years now, but I take it from the context to mean another super-heavy, washing rain.

A nice lady in a four-wheeler came up soon after Eric finished. She needed to put a circular metal tag on the electrical pole for some reason. She did, and left, but she was the first one to try out the freshly un-screwed driveway. We went down next to do a bunch of errands, and it was WONDERFUL going down without bouncing around in the truck.

It was still beautiful when we returned an hour or so later, and drove right up without a bounce. AHHHHHHH!

Fingers crossed now for no ‘frog stranglers’ tomorrow…..

By the way, if you live in the Arkansas area and need someone to do dirt work for you, call Eric Sandifer, 479-650-6804 or write him at P.O. Box 273, Greenwood AR 72936. You can depend on him to do good work at a fair price.

Leave a comment

Filed under Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Busy Day

Incredibly Cute Animal Pictures – pinterest

I have been going non-stop since we got up this morning.

Bad weather – in the form of cold front, cold rain, ice, sleet, snow, and flying hair balls is forecast for today-into-tomorrow. Since our driveway is steep and 650 feet down to the street, we tend to take ice seriously around here. Snow isn’t as much of a problem, but Arkansas tends to do ICE and THEN snow on top, making for a hairy situation.

The mailman came up the driveway today. We had received a BUNCH of packages and boxes as well as our regular mail, so we spent a bunch of time opening and organizing things. Then we went to the grocery store to get things we would be unhappy to be without if we get stuck on top of our ridge line. I got all the food put away while my husband took all the boxes and packing and burned them in the burn barrel. (It was raining, so we didn’t have to worry about having the fire.)

My husband had asked me to make pulled pork, so I spent about an hour getting a pork shoulder ready for the crock pot. It’s cooking now. Just as I cleaned up the kitchen, it was time for lunch.

I just finished cleaning out the refrigerator we have in the pantry and am now taking a break for a cup of coffee and my blog. It’s already 4:30!

I found more Christmas decorations in the pantry, so I’m going to open up the bags and decide where to put things.

A happy, busy day, and I’m feeling that someone sucked all the energy out of me. I’m going to regroup for a while and then tackle the fun job of looking at Christmas decorations.

I hope the weather where you are is good and that you’re having a great day.

Leave a comment

Filed under holidays, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Mother Nature

Today’s Project – Fridge One

We have a fridge like this one in our kitchen. I love it. It’s a side by side with an icemaker. The doors open wide and there is a lot of flexibility in how you set things up, what temperatures you want, etc. We got it about 10 years ago, so it doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles people have now, but it’s really good for us and I hope it lasts a good, long time.

The outside is a nice, glossy black that looks great when it’s spanking clean and gets to looking pretty sad with a gazillion finger prints on it, spills from something we took out of the fridge, water deposits of ‘something’ in the drain under where the ice comes out, etc.

Our problem is compounded because I have all kinds of ‘stuff’ on it.

 

 

I have all kinds of information regarding Nutrisystem – snacks, okay veggies, okay fruits, grocery list, etc. We also keep a record of propane tank readings monthly. We have timers, fridge magnets, reminders of coming appointments – you get the idea.

Today’s project was to clean the fridge – particularly the inside. It started with using up our supply of cut up celery and radishes ready to eat. I fixed that, and then was again aware that the fridge really needed some attention, and had been needing it for awhile. I’m fairly good about watching for expiration dates on things, but I tend to shove bags of lettuce, veggies of all kinds, cheeses, etc. into their places without cleaning the bin or drawer UNDER them much, and the stuff in the door is even worse.

I just finished the fridge in the kitchen. It looks and smells really good now. :0)

Tomorrow’s project will be the fridge in the pantry…

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Today’s Project – Scrubbing the Tiled Areas

We have about half of our first floor done in tiles – walk-in pantry, kitchen, dining area, utility room, and two half-baths. I have been working on this project all day and am about half finished.

I scrubbed all the counters, polished tables, cleaned window sills, harvested lettuce, put out a few Christmas decorations, etc.

 

This is the kitchen. I’ve scrubbed everything up top now, and the stove parts are in the dishwasher.

 

This is looking from the kitchen out toward the dining area. (You can see my lettuce plants in the background.)

 

These are a few of our Christmas decorations on the divider between the dining area and the kitchen.

 

This is the dining area and my moved-inside-veggie garden. I still have lettuce and some celery plants.

The next step in today’s project is to vacuum all the tile and then mop.

I’ll try to take pics of more Christmas decorations when the light changes.

I hope you’re having a good day, too.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Today’s Project – The Entertainment Shelves – Is Finished!

I guess if you’re ‘regular folks,’ you might think that the shelves need to be cleaned out NOW. If you’re the Lewises, though, this is WONDERFUL.

 

We have about 1/3 as much ‘stuff,’ as we did, the shelves are clean, smell like lemon Pledge (Ahhhh!) and are organized. (The pic above is my husband’s side of the entertainment center, so he’ll probably do more rearranging, but now he won’t choke on the dust while he does it. :0) )

And this is MY side of the entertainment center. I now have things where I can find them. I found things I didn’t realize I HAD, and did away with more stuff I no longer want.

I’ve worked on this project all afternoon, so with a little nudge from me, we’re going to get fried rice from our local Chinese restaurant for dinner tonight!

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Today’s Project -11-29-2018

Sono Marin Cleaning Services

I WISH I had a cleaning service, like the one above!

I told you recently that we had decided to get rid of our DVD collection – or most of it, since I kept my prized ones, not completely trusting the Synology Storage System. We gave approximately 217 DVDs to the local library for their next fundraiser.  We’re trying to sell the ones Amazon would accept, though it made me feel older than dirt when ours weren’t ‘acceptable’ (even Blu-rays) most of the time, due to the publishing date being too old.

This left us with several empty shelves on both sides of our TV!

I’m working my way through them, cleaning and moving things around. Due to the fact that they have held DVDs jammed side by side for umpteen years ( I removed the strips my husband cut to length and screwed into each one to make the DVDs stand in the shelves correctly) – cleaning is a real trip – partially because, other than running the dustcatcher over the top of them, the shelves couldn’t be cleaned without taking all the DVDs off each shelf. Since I’m a slob – FAT CHANCE! So I’m choking on dust, then using a clean cloth and Pledge to get the shelves clean and wonderful-smelling again, and THEN rearranging things so that books on the same subject are together, for example. I’m also getting rid of a lot of things.

I’ve spent a couple of hours on the project so far.  I’m about halfway finished and am taking a much-needed break.

When I finish my husband’s side, I’ll take pics of the newly clean, organized shelves!

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Truths

Trees truths – I Stole This From Another Page via Kim Cummings

Leave a comment

Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

End of the Kitchen Drawer Project

Well, I threw away things, put extra supplies in the pantry, and reorganized the rest, having the things I use most often easily accessible now.

Our driveway beeper went off just before I took these pics. It was our wonderful Tri-Hill bug guy, on a follow-up trip to treat the outside of the house that he couldn’t do due to rain when he treated the inside recently. I found out that his last work day this week is today, and he has until Tuesday morning off!

While we were talking, I again noticed a BUNCH of frozen, dead foliage around the porch and in the planters, plus a gazillion dead ladybugs on the front porch. I was embarrassed that our outside was such a mess, so I’ll put in some time out there this afternoon. I’ll get rid of the poor ladybugs, cut down the dead stuff, and maybe get started on the leaves all over the front yard. I want to make mulch for the flower beds. If they’re dry enough, I might get started on that today…

I hope that YOU are having a wonderful last-day-before-Thanksgiving, too!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

I’m a “Stash-a-holic”

Believe it or not, this is a very nice double pull-out drawer inside one of my kitchen cabinets. The bottom holds cooking vessels of various kinds and stays in good order. This, however, is a horse of a completely different color, to coin a phrase.

Ziplock bags, sandwich bags, aluminum foil, etc. are stashed in here to the point it’s hard to get one thing out without other things coming with it.

So this drawer is today’s project.

 

Here it is from another angle. I would be embarrassed to show it to you – or admit that it’s MINE – except you KNOW I’m a slob and that I’m on a mission this year to go through areas one at a time, sometimes – in this case – one DRAWER at a time to declutter, give away, throw away and then reorganize our over 30-year-old home.

My husband, thankfully, is oblivious to my slobbiness, and I overlook his championship pack-rat skills, as well. While this makes for a happier marriage, it results in messes like this.

The first step was taking everything out of the drawer, cleaning and relining it.

 

This is one view of what came out of the drawer.

And here’s another. Hopefully, later in the day I can show you a much-improved supplies drawer – putting it all on the island insures that I won’t leave it until later. We can’t fix lunch unless I clean this up! :0)

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering