April 6, 2019:

Hola!

The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired

Jan

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Inspirations from Bloggers Everywhere...

There is no end to blogs devoted to decorating, gardening, and DIY, and I cannot visit them all.  That is not to say that every single blogger out there writing about the same stuff I am doesn't have something worthwhile to say, because I know they do!  And so, I do my best to visit as many as I can...  I visit linky parties and blogs that are on the sidebars of blogs that I visit, because I never know what I'll find and some of them have become favorites, too.  In fact, my favorites list on my two laptops here at home and the computer at the office are all different and ever-expanding!

Here are some things I made note of during the past week or so.  Sometimes it's because I've got a certain thing on my mind, sometimes it's just because I find a particular project or - whatever - interesting or intriguing...

Visiting Shabby Nest's "Frugal Friday", I have found lots of things that catch my attention, either because I've had them cooking around in the back of my mind for awhile or they're things I've been working on around the house and/or have planned to work on in the future (like when I retire in 5 1/2 years...)

For instance, Little Things Bring Smiles June 1, 2012 blog on "Corner Gallery I."  Unique and perfectly executed.  My aspirations for a "gallery wall" are much more modest.  In fact, I had a gallery wall from about 2007 until 2009 that I had painstakingly put together over the years with well loved photographs from our various travels, on the lower wall of the open staircase to the second floor.  I wasn't visiting decorating blogs then and didn't know what it was called, it just seemed like a neat thing to do.  Unfortunately, when I put the house on the market in November (a big mistake and a horrible experience) I took it all down because it was considered "clutter" and "too personal" and would interfere with "marketing the house."  I didn't put it back up when I pulled the house off the market and fired the real estate brokers.  I was so exhausted by the entire negative experience over the holidays with those brokers who KNEW I was going to have house guests through the end of January, and I was incredibly demoralized by the whole experience.  Photos didn't go back up on the wall.  House stayed in what I considered a bare-naked state because - why bother?  Now all of those photos tucked away still inside their totally mismatched frames are calling out to me from cardboard boxes in the spare closet upstairs...

The primary thing that was on my mind last week, though, was doing something to spiff up my deck area because I'd decided that the ladies of the investment of which I am a member would meet out there this past Sunday after we met at a local restaurant for breakfast.  We had a lot of business to attend to, and I wanted them to be comfortable but not distracted.  Usually we just sit around my round table in the small dinette area between kitchen and family room -- right where the patio door invites us to step outside.  There are five of us, but one of us couldn't make it last week Sunday, which was what actually triggered my sudden "brain storm" to have our meeting on the deck -- because I only have four chairs...

Ever since I started visiting Debbie Dabble's blog and saw her small but lovingly constructed and put-up-your-feet-comfortable back yard and porch area (front porch is comfy too, looking out over a postage-stamp size garden to one side and across a walkway, then a massive and steep slope down to an asphalt parking lot, waaaaay below...), I've been feeling the slow itch build to do something with my own deck area, which has never been more than basic and that was good enough.

Inspiration recently flowed from Debbie's June 5, 2012 "Patio and Plants 2012!"  More correctly, I should say that it was the final push I needed to try and do something a bit more with my own outside living space.

And It's Overflowing June 6, 2012 "Loving Tall Planters (the Look for Less)" -- yep, I can dig that look for less :)

And Cupcakes and Crinoline's June 5, 2012 "Front Yard Makeover - Before and After" -- you can just see how much hard work, blood, sweat and tears she put into bringing in an overgrown and neglected garden back to life -- gorgeous gorgeous life!  Can I buy your yard???  Can I hire you to come to my house and attack my overgrown, weed-infested flower beds???

By rights, I cannot say that Kristin's Creations patio (I have a serious crush on her house) inspired me to do my "spruce-up" on my deck this past Saturday because I didn't see it until today.  First, I have a deck, be it ever so humble -- gave up my pea gravel "patio" (har!) back when BIL Fred decided one day to grant me a wish and built a freestanding deck that has held up over the past 10 plus years.  Kristin' Creations has a patio, although she may have a deck or two tucked around that house, too.  Can't tell you that -- I haven't looked at all of her blog entries or pictures -- but I can tell you that I think her patio area is just perfect!  All it lacks is an umbrella to provide a bit of shade.  I'm a shady lady, what can I say?  Of course, she probably have plenty of other shady areas for sun-shy guests or when it's one of those just too intense days...  June 8, 2012 "Patio Flowers, Vacations, and a Mantle Revamp." 

Ach!  By comparison my deck "spruce up" doesn't compare to the gorgeousness of these garden-living spaces I've seen, but it was fun working on it all the same, and overall I am happy with it. Well, to be perfectly honest, Kristin's Creations made me want to run out and buy tons of flowers and try my hand at some free-standing gorgeous planters to anchor my space, but then I thought - nah.  Too much work!  Too much $$! 

More, later, but not tonight!

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