Saturday, May 28, 2016

Puttering: Backyard Edition

A long overdue weeding of the raised beds was on the docket today.  I gotta say, a bulb planter hand tool is marvelous for pulling out dandelion roots and a lawn mower makes short work of cleaning up the weeded plants :)





I also did one of those niggly little chores that's been hanging around since we moved in.  Our garden hose in the back has always been a pain to coil up and after tripping over it all day today, I finally decided to dip into the stash of brackets that the previous owners of the house left in the garage and add a wall hanger.  It looks good now-remains to be seen how useful it will be, but time will tell!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Gandalf does not approve of Blogging

Kittens are so helpful when you're trying to type!

Radiator Covers Complete!

As I mentioned earlier, part of the saga of painting the trim has been noticing things that are different around the house but have really been in the background, unnoticed, until I go ahead and fix something and then they stand out.  A great example would be our radiator covers.  They're a great feature of the house (and I believe many of them are original based on the wood), but our dining room radiator didn't have one.  So since I was taking the other ones off to paint them, I thought why not build one for it.

It wasn't a bad project to execute (hardest part was having to wait for the wood glue to dry before painting), but the results are well worth it!



As in the way of these projects to create new projects,I've also started making wooden platforms for our potted plants, since even though we used saucers we were still getting some water damage on the surfaces.  These are another really satisfying project since they're super simple and make such a big difference in appearance and function.

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Our tulips are quite lovely this year!

A House with all its Trimmings

I'll lead off with the thought that houses, especially older houses, have an incredible amount of trim in them.  Who would have thought that adding decorative strips of wood to doors and windows would make such a difference, but it really does.  Trim is definitely one of those things that you don't realize is bad until it's really bad, and then when you fix it you realize what a difference it makes in how a house looks.

I've been interspersing some trim painting among the other puttering these past few weeks, but last weekend and this weekend were all about the trim (and a few other things...)

So some before pictures:
Our guestroom door (when we first moved in Shasta used it as her "wake up I have to go out" signal door.  She's since stopped that, but the damage was done):

Then the stairs.  I never realized how much you kick the back of a step when you're walking up them, but the proof is in the paint chips:

I also did the baseboards and window sills, but those are actually not so bad-door frames are killer for painting-so many edges-and we have simple trim!  But the results were well worth the effort!

So pretty!

The steps were last weekend.  This weekend was all about the upstairs doors.
The old axiom holds true-it's gotta look worse before it looks better:

Gotta remember to take off the hardware (something the previous owners rarely did)

I also did the radiator covers from downstairs (thus making sure that the NEXT bit of trim will be the living room):

As before, though, it really makes a difference when it's done!

There were some other projects mixed in too.

Finishing the fence in the back (I didn't like the post hanging out at the end uncovered):

Fixing (and cleaning) a leaky faucet (the french press is not actually part of the cleaning):

Finally a teaser of coming attractions...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I fits, I sits!

Mary Oliver it turns out is one of those cats-if there's a container she fits in, she sits in it.  We've seen this with big boxes and laundry baskets before, but yesterday she tried it with something more form-fitting.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hail to the King, Baby!

Today was another epic day of puttering-my kingship is definitely secure.

It started far too early this morning with a kitten wake-up call, but at least that translated into motivation to do things on this beautiful day!

First up was loading up all the old pipe from my plumbing project a few weeks ago...

In the process of doing that, I got inspired to fix the way our garden hose hangs under our porch...

Then after a quick run to the dump to drop off the pipe, it was off to the car wash for a long overdue cleaning for Sharkey the Honda.


Add in a trip to the Library to drop off books, a trip to the Farmer's Market, and a stop at the SPCA to drop off some extra cat food, and it was an epic morning of erranding.

Also, in wandering around cleaning up the pipe, I noticed that our fence behind our garage was in pretty bad shape, so after swinging by Lowes (oh how I've missed you-it's been two days since last I was in your hallowed halls) the afternoon was spent making a new fence and cleaning up the garage.
The old fence:

Midway through:

The new fence:

While I was at it, I also changed the air filters in Sharkey-5 minutes that saved me $50 from the garage (they definitely needed it!  The in-cabin filter actually had leaves in it!)

So after a quick shower and some dinner is was time to paint the trim (the original plan for today, but when the puttering bug calls, it's hard not to answer)

I consider this day well seized again!