Monday, April 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes: I Owe 14, but You'll Have to Settle for Whatever I Crank Out

 Matthew wanted to help in the kitchen.  
Matt started to tell him he couldn't because of his cold, then turned around to see him in his mask.

 Elsa dress fabric.

 New kitchen light!

 "After" shots.  I never think to take "before" shots, making these rather anti-climatic.

1- That we've been busy might be an understatement.  Spring is trying to ease into the area which allows for more outside time and produces more outside work.  It also inspires hitherto unseen inspiration to knock out small projects around the house.  You know, the stuff we were planning to do through the winter when we were stuck indoors?

The boys bathroom was done a couple weekends ago, but is waiting for the sinks to be finished and one small strip of white wainscoting that needs to be painted.  Matt needed a smaller brush.  We picked that up finally on Saturday.

We've moved on to a few other things....

2.  We finally figured out what to do with the light over the island.  We've had a nice fixture sitting in a box for over a year.  Matt tried to install it a few weeks ago, only to discover that under the existing fixture there was a huge hole in the ceiling.

Enter ceiling medallion.



Looks good.  Gives us more concentrated and brighter light at the island and improved light at the stove.

And Matt will no longer bump his head on pendant lights hung too low.

But Faith won't have the lights to play with next time she visits.  Neither will my Dad.  Between the two of them, those old lights were batted, swung and tied in a knot. 

3.  We also started stripping an old barrister's cabinet that we've been using as a game cabinet.  The original plan was to sand it and restain it.  Matt started it on Saturday, while I restuffed one of Josh's giant dragons.  (Josh was writing it on my to-do list with angry smiley face pictures for about a month now.)  But the sanding wasn't going well.  There was damage on the topmost surface that wasn't going to sand out and would show through a stain.

Trip to Lowes.

The cabinet is now partially painted a mocha java brown.  We'll get to finish it later this week and hopefully have it finished in time for Easter, which we're hosting.

4.  The outdoor work started in earnest after a clean out across the front.  I moved to the side to clean out leaves and began chopping down the overgrown lilac bushes.  Lilacs are beautiful but these bushes were badly cared for and pruned over the years, long before I hacked at them last spring.  They consisted of long, tall limbs all reaching out from the outer most part of the bushs' trunks, with most of the center portions long gone and rotting.  They were also badly placed and the yard is a mess over there from years of storing a boat or trailer or something.  I have two long limbs left that are too tall for me to handle on my own, then we'll dig up the trunks before dealing with the grass or lack there of in that side yard.

The pile of branches has grown and Matt is tackling the old chipper that was buried in Mimi's shed with new vigor.  After 20+ years of sitting in that shed, Matt hopes he can get it started.

In the meantime, I continued on to the backyard, cleaning out under the neighbors' pine trees that overreach our border.  Last summer, I dug out a huge amount of their ivy that had grown into our yard, a patch maybe 10 ft x 4 ft.  It seems to be clear of ivy still, but was full of leaves and debris from the willow.  7 bags later, it is cleaned out and the remaining wood has been restacked.  That was an hour worth of work after this morning's Bible Study, and enough for today.  Last spring, thinking the pine trees were ours, I gave them a haircut as I worked in that area.  This year I know better, but as branches slapped me in the face and scratched my neck and my lower back every time I bent over, I wished I didn't know better. 

I'm reminded of the annual pruning Coblentz did across campus in preparation for Holiday Tea and decorating contest.  Every evergreen on campus had a middle of the night haircut, and the next day, the entire stairwell of the res hall was beautiful adorned with evergreen branches, all the way up to the 4th floor.

5.  Matthew is well over his cold, but took a tumble outside yesterday.  Now he's nursing some roadrash and a few scrapes.  I'm sure it stings, but he certainly is milking it.  He survived PSSAs last week and is back to the regular schedule of classes and homework this week.  He won't like that.  He got accustomed to coming home and going straight outside every night last week.

Josh is suffering a bruised ego as he and his BFF keep having disagreements that he doesn't know about.  This is what happens when your BFF is a girl.  I think most of it stems from jealousy as he seems to get the silent treatment most frequently if he has been playing with any of the other girls in class.  I'd like to tell him it'll get worst before it gets better.  But I don't want to cause him any further despair.  He is looking forward to his first baseball practice on Friday, if the weather cooperates.  He is also planning to plant and care for his own flower garden this summer.  This weekend he started his sunflowers indoors.  They are put well out of Banshee's reach, because last time he did this she buried a biscuit in his tray of seedlings.

6.  I don't have time to proofread this today.  So, if it's crap, I apologize.  At least it's done.

7.  I promised to make Faith an Elsa dress.  I have a plan.  I have the material.  I have anxiety over cutting into the materials and executing the plan.  She won't let me forget though and is making a list of the dresses I'm to make after this one.  Next rainy day, I plan to take a deep breath, hold it and cut.

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