House projects

Library of house renovation image black and white stock png files ▻▻▻  Clipart Art 2019

My big landscaping plans of redoing everything, front and back, are now on hold because all of the landscapers I’ve contacted are overwhelmed with work. So many houses lost massive amounts of shrubs, bushes, trees, and plants due to our February freeze, and the earliest I could get work done would be June, which is wicked hot here in Texas. Plus I only have the landscape plan for the front of the house, not the back yet, and I need it all to get accurate bids for time, plants, and total costs.

The Plant Lady designing my plans is up to her eyeballs in her landscape business. What she sent thus far has beautiful plants that I never heard of but will be soft, low, and colorful. So it’s worth waiting for what she sees for the back. Right now I’m thinking about doing the landscaping in late September instead of trying to squish it into Now, which is just not looking very feasible anyway. This would let me get bids and then get on my contractor’s schedule for ripping out old plants and fixing things up with the new with time for them get rooted before the cold weather sets in. I’d rather wait and do it right.

Today the electrician was here to fix two problems. The outlet at the end of the penninsula in the kitchen hasn’t worked and now we know why: it is wired so that the light over the kitchen sink has to be on for the outlet to work. Quirky but given how little I actually use that outlet, it’s a lot easier to just go with it than to have to undo and run new wires. The other project was outside on the porch where the ceiling fan didn’t work. A handyman took down the old one but there’s no power to the drop for the fan, which is why the old one didn’t work. The attic space above it is only inches high, which is going to make this tricky. He’s coming back on Saturday with a buddy and has a plan for trying to find and poke through wires to a place where they will work. I’d really like to put the fan up so it’s worth it.

Friday another company is coming to clean out the air ducts in the house. Who even know that was a thing that could or needed to be done? They charge based on the number of air openings for vents, registers, and intake. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how this will work and how to keep the cats out of the way, but I think getting rid of extra dust and crud will help my allergies as well as keeping the house cleaner, which is always a good thing.

Next week the sprinkler people are coming to adjust two sprinkler heads that are going off like fountains. Everyone who sees them calls me to let me know about it – duh, thank you. I reset the sprinkler control box using Youtube instructions and am feeling pretty accomplished. Hopefully this will keep the yard from being over watered and bog-like.

I bought a new TV for the living room after having someone ask how long the colors had been muddy. Uh, they look fine, don’t they? No, they didn’t. It was more like tinted black and white images. The Geek Squad delivered and set up the new TV and hauled away the old one AND my old printer, since I just replaced that, too. Who knew that the TV shows were in actual color? The eyes got used to what was there but now I’m seeing things in living color. Big improvement even if it wasn’t something I expected to be buying.

This is all expensive and it makes me tired just thinking about everything.

Back From Vacation

I’m baaaaaack!  For the last 10 days I’ve been on vacation and doing pretty much whatever I wanted – and that did not include writing blog posts.

Vacationing to a destination requires plans, timetables, shopping, packing, travel, cat sitter, thick wallets (or well-used credit cards), getting tired, and usually coming home the day before returning to work – with lots of dirty laundry.

I stayed home for mine, though, and it was perfect.  The days were cooler (except for those two pesky 88 degree days), nights perfect for sleeping with the windows open and a kitty snuggled next to me.  I slept until I woke up almost every day, rediscovering that I really am not meant to wake up at 5:30am if I want to start the day relaxed and calm.

Food went better because I didn’t go out to eat and I rediscovered that my body is happiest when I’m eating at 8 – 11 – 3 – 7 .  Needless to say, I don’t do that on normal days because the times don’t work when I’m in the office and cannot eat at my desk.   I like my food but I’m not particularly excited by it, nor am I anxious to plan and eat meals.  No wonder I’m kind of in a rut with my food, but it’s one of stability and simplicity rather than lack of creativity.

I’d scheduled several sessions this week with my trainer but only ended up making it to two of them, due to her illness and my wicked bad back mid-week.  I did walk every day, though – easier in the cooler weather – and enjoyed doing it mid-day instead of squishing around the edges of a long day at work.

I treated myself to a new flat screen TV.  It’s not mega-giant size but it’s perfect for my space.  One benefit of being off of work was being able to schedule “windows of availability” to have the TV delivered, cable guy come to set up said new TV for HD, and the Geek Squad come on general purposes to make sure everything was hooked up properly and I knew how to use it all now that it’s connected to a single remote.  I know, I’m technologically challenged when it comes to this stuff.

On the other hand, I spent Lab0r Day watching the A&E Hoarders marathon which was great motivation to clean some stuff out.  I got rid of 2 old recliners, a coat tree, clothes, a box of cookbooks, and a box of miscellaneous stuff.  Of course, I also hit some sales and got colder weather clothes since I have nothing to wear from last year.   Makes it easier to weed out stuff for the thrift store.

I also took naps, and treated myself to a 90 min. deep tissue massage and a spa pedicure, and a new set of soft fuzzy sheets.   There was much piddling around to do, resting and vegging out while reading trashy novels, and always a furry cat who needed petting and cuddles.

Vacationing at home:  priceless.

I miss Jed Bartlet

Martin Sheen as Jed BartletI’ve been doing IM with my best friend in Chicago as we watched a Law and Order rerun together, and she said I should write about how food is evil. Well, no. I don’t think it is evil. So I asked for another idea and she suggested that I write about how great the South Beach Living foods are (she’s in love with their wraps). Well, no. I haven’t tried them so I can’t write about them. Her final suggestion was, “How about finding lots of different tastes and making them healthy?”

Not a bad idea but I don’t want to write about food. Or eating. Or the Mrs. Prindables chocolate covered caramels that somehow found their way into my fridge.

Instead I just want to say I wish I could vote for Jed Bartlet for President.

I spent a good part of the afternoon with the big wet snowflakes falling outside watching episodes from The West Wing Season 3. It was one of my “must see TV” shows for the 7 years of its run and I have so missed its brilliant ensemble cast and eloquently written stories of great wisdom and wit about flawed people in positions of power.

I’ve especially missed it in this already interminable political season which had pre-candidates declaring intent to run almost 2 years before the general election. We’ve had debates ad nauseum with too many people to keep straight, and caucuses and primaries and ads out the wazoo, especially those of us in states with primaries already behind us. The attack ads are starting to come out and the conventions are still months away with election day months beyond that. It’s pretty disheartening.

As silly as it sounds, I would so love to think of the president and the White House team as actually being smart (unlike the current bunch) and committed to doing the right thing instead of just fighting wars and worrying about their legacy. I don’t feel one iota safer because of actions taken by the current administration and don’t have much confidence that the new president, regardless of party, is going to easily overcome the mess left behind.

I don’t really think that my voice matters much in the process but I did register to vote and showed up at 7:15am for the primary. I was one of those voters that drive pollsters crazy because I made up my mind when I had the ballot and marker in my hands. I do know that not voting isn’t responsible but it’s hard to pay attention now when there is so much time before things really come down to the wire.

In the meantime, I can watch West Wing and hope for better times.