Category Archives: Lewis projects

A Productive Day

Animal Wallpapers – Desktop Nexus

We got up this morning, intending to start rebuilding the second brick planter, but looked at each other and decided we felt too old and creaky. We agreed to think about it tomorrow – like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. :0)  We went grocery shopping instead and plan to take it much easier today.

Yesterday we accomplished a lot –

  • We figured out why our irrigation system wasn’t working in the back. After my husband looked at the switches and the control box in the well house, he followed the hose from the well house to the ‘tree’ of hoses that go to the back.  He found a “monster” kink in the main hose. We don’t know HOW it became kinked, since that is in the woods and not mowed, but he was able to splice the hose where it was damaged and the water flowed again!
  • Oh!  I have to pat myself on the head a bit. My husband asked me to reprogram the control box. I looked and looked, but couldn’t find the paperwork on how to do it. I finally went out and pushed buttons, hoping a main screen would come up. It did! I was able to reprogram year, month, day, time, and watering durations for the front and back!
  • I mixed up a 2-gallon canister of KilzAll and sprayed all around our garden and around our shop – hopefully murdering lots of weeds.
  • We cleaned up the work area around the first planter we rebuilt. We had extra concrete to shovel, bricks to haul away, etc. I took a chisel and a hammer and cleaned up the front of the planter as much as I could. I have to tell you, it looks pretty bad. It is sturdy and it holds the potting soil, so we’re declaring it a win. We’ll attach the PVC pipe set up for irrigation and then it’s finished. We’ll try to do better on the second planter. AND we keep reminding ourselves that we’re not having to come up with $700!

So – a much more laid-back day – probably with a bit of weed whacking will suffice.

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The First Planter is Finished

Tail and Fur

We finished bricklaying on the first collapsed planter yesterday. We just came in from shoveling the potting soil we had tried to save under some tarps back into the planter. I’ve told you we are both long in the tooth. We managed to finish it, mainly because we are supposed to have lots of rain and severe weather here all day today. We didn’t want to lose all of the expensive potting soil we had tried so hard to save. The planters are about 2-1/2 feet high, so an 8 foot long planter holds a LOT of potting soil!  Whew! Sore backs abound!

I wasn’t going to work on the planter at all, but I discovered my husband had left the office. I went to find him in the living room – assuming he was in his chair reading. He wasn’t, so I started looking around, finding him shoveling. I grabbed another shovel from the garage and we finished the job in about 45 minutes. I then moved all the bricks that were holding the tarps in place behind the well house. We are now ready for the rain, except I just remembered that I need to transfer the two tarps to the burn barrel.

We worked on the planter on the far end of the house for good reason. It doesn’t look good at all. It is sturdy, though, and seems to be holding the potting soil nicely, so we’ll call it a win and try to do a better job aesthetically on the other collapsed planter that is closer to the driveway.

Before we buy plants for it, we’ll need to reattach the pvc pipe for the irrigation system. Then the fun starts, with discussions about what we want to plant. I’m going for perennials, as much as possible, hopefully with some nice color in at least one season. I can dot annuals in for more color without killing myself.

I am hoping that we will rest for a day or so before starting the second planter…

Happily, we tried the new-to-Greenwood Domino’s Pizza last night. We got a medium pan supreme pizza and it was delicious! We ate half of it, so we can finish it tonight and I don’t have to cook!!

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The Character-and-Planter-Building Continue

Yesterday’s session was hard because we had to haul a lot of bricks over to the site, gather all the tools, run the water hose, etc. Today’s session was harder because we put too much water in the mix, resulting in mortar that was waaaaay too thin to use. We got back in the truck and went to town and bought 3 more bags of mortar.

We added about a third of the second bag to the mix when we got back and then it was usable. We need five rows of bricks for the planter, and today we finished the third row. We washed everything and came in with red faces, huffing and puffing, in need of cool drinks.

We’re hoping to finish the first planter tomorrow morning. Tomorrow afternoon and evening and into Sunday rain is forecast, so once we finish the first planter we’ll take a bit of a break before starting the second.

No one would think these were done by a professional, but the bricks we laid yesterday were nice and solid. As long as they’re sturdy and hold the potting soil, we’ll be satisfied.

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Another of Life’s Character-Building Projects…

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Awhile back I told you that two of our 8 foot long brick planters collapsed.

30 years ago we built 14 planters around the yard, so I guess the fact that 2 of them only lasted 30 years is a pretty good result from people who had/have no clue what they were/are doing. :0)

 

When the planters collapsed, we used a sledge hammer to knock the rest of the bricks down. We couldn’t get the lowest row to let go of the concrete slab we poured, so we cleaned things up the best way we could and declared victory. We shoveled the potting soil from the planter onto the blue tarp you see here and then covered it with another one and put used bricks on top to hold it until we’re ready to fill the planter again. We filled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow with the used bricks and stacked them up behind the well house.

Today we started the rebuilding project in earnest. We bought a pallet of bricks a couple of months ago. We bought 2 bags of mortar this morning, thinking these would be enough for one planter. We wheel-barrowed the bags over to the planter that is on the far side of the house. We used a dolly to bring enough bricks for this planter over to the work area. It was really a job to get the heavy plastic off the pallet of bricks and then stack them on the dolly and wheelbarrow them over to the planter. We did this three times to get enough over there.

I stretched a hose from the back of the house around to the front, and we found the special hoe that has two holes in it that we use for mixing mortar. We went out to the shop to find the trowels we needed.

We mixed one of the bags of mortar. We had forgotten how long it takes to actually mix that stuff! You think it’s good, and then you uncover some that is absolutely dry at the bottom of the wheelbarrow.

We decided we would work until we had used up the mortar in the wheelbarrow. By the time that was done, it was all we could do to clean up the tools and the wheelbarrow. It isn’t super hot today – 86 degrees F. – but we were really hot and tired when we came in. My face was bright red as if I had gotten sun-burned. I knew that wasn’t true because both of the planters are mostly in the shade.

We got huge glasses of ice water and drank them down pretty quickly. I fixed us some lunch and we ate in our chairs in the living room. The next thing we knew, we were both waking up from taking naps in our chairs!

We have agreed that what we did this morning would be it for the day. We’ll probably do one bag of mortar a day until the first planter is done. We now think that each planter will need a bit more than 3 bags of mortar. We’re supposed to be getting rain late Saturday. We think we can finish bricking the first planter, but we may save the second planter until next week.

If I needed more motivation to lose another 30 pounds, I now have it. We are also newly learning how much of a difference 30 years makes in laying bricks. This will be a character-building exercise for us. I see Tylenol, back pain gel, and yoga stretches in my future. :0)

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Wonderful Day

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We’ve had a good day.

The temperature is 79 and the sun is shining. There is a nice breeze.

My husband mowed the lawn while I cleaned out the greenhouse and started more spinach seed. (Always optimistic!)

Then we changed the tires on the truck from the snow tires to our regular tires. We’re glad we don’t have to do this more than twice each year, but we save money doing it ourselves. When we bought the Honda Ridgeline, we bought 4 extra wheels and snow tires and had them mounted. We keep them in the shop. In late November or early December, depending on the weather, we change from our regular tires to our snow tires. In April, we change them back.

We’re getting a bit long in the tooth for this, but my husband says each time we do it, my help is better and better. :0)

Today we celebrated all the good things we accomplished by splitting a seafood platter at The Deli for lunch!

A truly wonderful day.

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It’s UP!

Walmart

My husband found a nuts and bolts bin like this at an auction Thursday. It’s big and heavy and GREAT for organizing the gazillion sizes of nuts, bolts, and other thingies needed to make things in the shop. The picture above looks like what he got, but add several years, dings, and a lot of dirt and labels that need to be taken off as my husband arranges things the way he would like. He got it for a good price, though he had to wait a LONG time for it to come up for bid.

I thought he might add heavy-duty casters on the bottom so he could roll it around. OR, that he would make a base that it could sit on against a wall. He decided that he wanted to mount it to support beams on one wall of the shop. Since we had some trouble getting it out of the back of the truck and onto a dolly to move it into the shop, I knew that this would be quite a job.

He spent much of yesterday making a heavy metal mounting ‘shelf’ for the bin to sit on and welded it onto one of the horizontal support beams on the wall. He also made some metal straps for securing the top of the bin to another horizontal beam up higher.

Soon after we returned from getting rid of our metal scraps this morning, he headed for the shop. I didn’t want him to try to do this project by himself, so I went out to the shop soon after. An hour and a half later, we finally have it up on the shelf with a strap securing the top. He has more securing to do, but the big, difficult part is done. In my next life, I’m determined to come back as a man with lots of strength and a lot of know-how on project stuff, with the vocabulary that goes with it. I really wish I were a better helper in projects like this. I do the best I can and am very thankful, though frazzled, when the job gets done and no one is hurt.

We’re about out of wall space in the shop now. We are both very pleased to have a good, dry place to work with good lighting, heat or air conditioning if needed, the tools we need and enough space to do our projects without having to move a lot of stuff. I’M glad he has the smarts to decide to do something and then figure out a way to get it done!

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We MAY Have Found a Bricklayer!

This is one of the two 8-foot brick planters that threatened to collapse. We built 14 planters around the house, but none of the others have had any problems. We’re not sure if we used bad mortar – that ONLY lasted 30 years, or if water froze on the inside causing the problem, but one corner split and then the whole side bulged out. We knocked one of the planters down several weeks ago, wrapping up the potting soil as best we could with tarps.

 

This is the second planter. We have the new bricks we need. We had looked for bricklayers, but hadn’t been successful. A friend of ours had the name and phone number of a bricklayer she thought might work with us. My husband called and left a message today on his phone. Fingers crossed that he is willing to help us and that he is affordable. Mixing mortar is a hard job, and it would be really nice if this rebuilding could be done by someone who knows what he’s doing, rather than merely one old couple who will do their best…

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The Etched Vase Project Continues

I tried DRAWING the design on the glass with white, then black, and neither one was working. I finally just grabbed the dremel and started using it freehand, outlining the designs I’ll fill in later.

This is hard to see. I put a sheet of carbon paper inside the vase, hoping the designs would show up well enough for you to see what I’m trying to do here.

 

This project will take a long time to do. I’ll only do a bit at a time, since working with the dremel is difficult for me. It’s tedious and must be done over and over to show up well on the glass. I’ll post pictures as an area is finished.

I haven’t done this in a long time, so I’m having a good time. I like not having a deadline, or someone depending on it.

Here’s hoping I can do something that looks okay.

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Vase Etching Restart

Yesterday I told you I was going to cut out the design I drew a long time ago on sticky paper on this vase and then etch the design with a dremel.

After working at it for a long time, I finally decided that the paper had been on the glass too long and I wasn’t going to be able to do a reasonable job of cutting out the design. I spent about an hour getting the sticky paper off and the vase clean once again.

Today I’m going to try using a white marker to draw the design on the glass and THEN try to use the dremel. I have a sand blaster in the shop, but the etching done there comes out pretty evenly. What I’m trying for this time is a rougher, texture-y etching.

I have no clue if this will work, but it’s fun to try different techniques.

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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)

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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)

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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.

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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.

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Apologizing

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My husband and I were raking rocks, picking up tools, hauling bricks, and wrapping up the potting soil for the planter we had to demolish.  My husband’s hearing is a bit challenged (I guess mine probably is, too), but I asked him, while he was raking rocks, if I should start gathering the tools. He gave me an exasperated look, stopped raking rocks, and started pitching tools into the wheelbarrow. I helped him finish that, hauled off some bricks, put away the tools, and came back and helped with the rock raking. We put some bricks on top of the tarp filled with soil and agreed that we would need to get a smaller tarp tomorrow to cover up the soil better.

While we were taking some pry bars back out to the shop, I apologized that I had made him angry. He finally said, “You wanted me to help raking rocks. THEN you decided to haul the bricks off instead of raking with me. THEN you wanted me to stop what I was doing and pick up tools.”

The fact that he was out there raking rocks and helping to get to a good stopping place on the planter meant more to me than the fact he got angry with me because he won’t admit he needs his hearing checked.  I DO value our relationship, and it IS more important than my ego or who was right or wrong.

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Frustrated

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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…

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Plans vs Actuality Update

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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.

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Plans vs Actuality

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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.

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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.

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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 –

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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.

 

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Happy New Year from Calvin, Hobbes, and the Lewises

We just put up our “Happy New Year” mailbox decoration. We made this Calvin & Hobbes design using our CNC machine and computer-guided torch to cut out the metal. My husband made and welded on the mounting bar, and then we marked both sides. I painted the sides using outdoor paint and then sprayed a protective layer of polyurethane to help it withstand the sun and weather as well as possible.

 

This is the back of the decoration. You can see the mounting bar clearly on this side.

Happy New Year!

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Did It!

Library Donation – We may add to this before we actually take it to the library.

 

Disabled Veterans Thrift Store Donation – We may add to this, too, but the foyer is now clear of the piles of books, clothes, electronics, etc.

So, today’s project is finished and I’m going to grab a cup of coffee, sit in my recliner, and dive back into my book.

Have a wonderful afternoon and evening!

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Sunday’s Project

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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!!!

 

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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.

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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…

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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!

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Wonderful Way to Start a Day!

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I’m walking 3 inches (at least) off the ground this morning.

We received a delivery from Fedex this morning. The driver wasn’t our ‘normal’ driver, but a very nice young woman. She fended off Amber kindly when Amber was trying hard to greet her, wagging her tail, trying to knock her down, and trying to get into her truck at the same time. She reacted by laughing, immediately winning our feelings of relief and approval.

I got Amber and put her in the house while the lady got a huge box out of her truck. While my husband was wrestling with 60 lbs of dog food, the lady started to get back into her truck. She stopped, came back around and said something to the effect of, “I love all your artwork. I slowed the truck down so I could try to look at everything, waving at the two robots standing watch on either side of the garage door.

My spirits soared and I tried not to break my face as I grinned at her. I told her that she had made our day and thanked her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re never sure what the reaction will be. Some people probably look at our stuff and shake their heads or wonder why anyone would clutter up their yard like we do. This lady particularly mentioned the robot and owls at the bottom of the driveway and the flying pig hanging from a tree midway up.

When someone is this nice, giving compliments on our stuff when there is no need (such as our saying, “Look what we made!” and then them trying to come up with something similar to, “Well, that’s a lot of stuff!” – it brings real joy.

A wonderful way to start a day!

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Fishing for a Compliment…

Our fish aren’t very good conversationalists. They don’t want or give affection, give compliments or give out rebukes. I feel good, though, that their aquarium is now bright, shining clean. I changed out the decorations in the tank, too, so they have a change of scene, as well as new filters, plus clean and treated water.

About the only thing they DO is bunch up in the corner when they want to be fed, wriggling their tiny bodies and making a big deal of seeing my face, even before I give them anything to eat. THAT makes all the upkeep worth it. :0)

I’m feeling lazy today since I spent most of the day outside yesterday cleaning out and pruning the plants in our planters. I finished all in the front yard – we have 11 in all (eight 8 foot brick planters and 3 of assorted sizes), plus the planters on the deck yesterday. I’m a bit long in the tooth for that much work, but we had an 80% chance of rain today (and the forecasters were correct), and my body is in protest mode today.

Now that the project for the day is finished, I’m going to go do some yoga to see if I can get stretched out again.

Otherwise, friends (Lunch Bunch) followed by food and football!

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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!

 

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Sand/Water Blasting and Bulldozing…

Sun Sentinel

Actually, although I DO sandblasting on glassware and tools in the shop, and water blasting on the deck, concrete, and more, I am using the kitchen sink and cleaners for today’s project of scrubbing out all our trash containers, putting in trashcan liners (as I SHOULD have long ago) and putting things back together.

I’m getting several messages from this project –

  • I’m spending much of the day doing something I COULD have avoided if I had put trashcan liners in all the containers when they were clean, umpteen years ago
  • Scrubbing out trash cans is a LOT of work
  • Putting the clean trash cans with fresh liners back gives me good exercise – particularly the ones that belong upstairs
  • We have a LOT of trash cans! Since I’m scrubbing them all, I’m counting – and we have 21 trash cans inside this house!

I have SIX remaining to scrub, line, and put back.

If I still have energy, I’m planning to clean out the double cabinet area under the kitchen sink. (Can you imagine – things tend to fall out of there whenever I try to get something!)  :0(

With these two projects for the day and my 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer, I can feel good about my activity level today.

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Filed under exercise, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects