April 6, 2019:


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


Friday, April 8, 2016

Baseball Wall Finally Painted and Guest Room More Presentable

Hola everyone!  I know I left off in the middle of writing about all the rigamarole of updating my living room last summer, I promise I will complete that in the future -- hopefully the near future.

A lot has been happening around Maison Newton, many family-oriented matters, since last summer.

For various reasons, I wanted/needed to get the guest room, this one --

Sheet over curtain rod for "curtains," black "foam" thingies on the wall
(you can see the little black "dots" to the upper left) that would not
come off with regular scrubbing/fingernail treatment.

And, of course, the "baseball wall."  Painted stark semi-gloss
white, with red "seams" painted on it, inherited from prior owner.

-- up to snuff.  It's only taken nearly two years; I moved in on July 13, 2014 and here it is, April 8, 2016, and I finally got that damn ugly wall painted!


But let me tell you, it was a major (and literal) pain in the neck, and it also kicked in my sciatica, all the climbing up and down the ladder to do the cutting in and cutting in and cutting in, never-ending cutting in (or so it seemed). OUCH!  I haven't painted a wall in probably 20 years, and it was a chore, believe me!

Photos worth thousands of words (I'll spare you most of the words).  PREP PICTURES:

There's that blasted baseball wall!  Wine figures prominently,
as well...

I did tape the woodwork, and the newspaper was eventually taped as well.

Same glass of wine, just a different angle.  She's so pretty!
There's that 18th century ladder, just waiting back there to kill me.

Skipped spots, drat!  Maybe I shouldn't have had that wine (to dull the
sciatica pain)...Nah.  Second coat needed...
Ten minutes with the roller and brush (why is the second coat so much easier???) - I added a quarter cup of water to the paint can and mixed it up REAL good, as it seemed a little bit too thick - and a second clean-up later, I was ready to put the room back together again in 30 minutes.  So, huffing and puffing, I shoved the furniture back around into its spots:

The TV and rabbit's ears (no cable TV in this home) were added
about five weeks ago, and that is an extra comforter on the dresser,
in addition to the one dressing the foot of the bed.  Baseball wall GONE!

Nightstand is decked out with lamp, books and alarm clock/radio.  Art
added to the walls (a couple of my doggy posters).  Luggage rack at hand.

The room is 10 x10, very small!  The bed is not centered underneath the
window because it runs to the very end of the wall, where the woodwork
of both windows meet, so I "fudge" the look as best I can. There has
to be room left on the wall side of the bed for someone to get in and out
relatively easily.  There is more room to do this than appears in this photo.

I removed the nearly two-year old Ikea stick-on pleated shades (which I always assumed are meant to be more or less temporary and served their purpose very well).  Because of how the windows and the woodwork surrounding them run flush into the very corner of the room to but up against each other, centering the window shades on the frame left an "uneven" appearing seam quite visible in the uncurtained "center" of the windows.  It drove me nuts, looking at those seams day after day as I would invariably glance into the guest room before turning left into my bedroom.  Geez!

It took me awhile to come up with a solution as to how to "treat" the problem of not being able to center the bed underneath the window.  I've written about this room before here; putting the bed underneath the north window (where it is pictured, above), is the best solution to easy flow and does not block the heating vent on the other window wall. 

I did not want to buy yet more curtains and have to cut them and then hem them to the proper length; I also thought that a gathered curtain hanging underneath the toile panels would look too "stuffed" and old fashioned.  I tried a couple of different "fixes" which were ridiculous and looked horrible, LOL!  I blogged about those, hope you can't find them. 

After stewing on the problem for months, I came up with a no-cost solution a few days ago.  I tackled that project this morning.  I used what I already had on hand: a twin-size sheet in a vanilla/cream small check (at least 20 years old) that I cut up to make two tack-up panels to fit across the width of each window, and used previously purchased iron-on hemming tape to do the hems.  It was easier and went far more quickly than I thought it ever would, even precariously balancing on my rickety old ladder to remove the curtain rods, take down the old Ikea shades, tack up the new "covers" and put everything back together again, woo woo!

I'm overall thrilled with the new "look", but I can see where I need to putz with those curtain "covers" a bit to make them hang better and even up the lengths.  Despite my best efforts, one side is at least an inch longer than the other side, and how that happened I've no idea because I'm sure I measured very carefully.  A seamstress (accurate cutter with scissors, accurate hemmer with iron-on tape) I'm not!  What I did manage to create works very well (just needs some tweaking).  The small check goes well with the country-toile curtain panels that frame the windows, and the color-tones go together.  The sheet I used to make the curtain "panels" is 100% thick cotton and has already lasted a long time without fading, it will do very well to block out any prying eyes that may happen to be in the driveway next store or my backyard , the spaces that those bedroom windows overlook.   The cotton is opaque enough to block any "risque" views but will still allow filtered daylight in, particularly when the curtain panels are drawn back.

One of my sisters and her hubby are arriving later this evening.  They've stayed in the room before before the banishment of the baseball wall and the addition of the new curtain panels. I wonder if they will notice the "improvements?"  Probably not, LOL!

Would you sleep in this bed (it's a double with a down mattress pad).
A welcoming view from the hallway.  It's especially cozy at night, as
the light grey-green walls that change color with the level of light go a little darker
I think the color is a variation of what used to be called Nile Green in the 19th century.

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