Archive for the ‘Household Management 101’ Category

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80°F in october!

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Happy Fall to you! I hope that you are enjoying the season thus far! After a rather chilly week or so here with lots and lots of rain, it really warmed up this weekend with temps that reached 80°F! It has been truly wonderful, splendid fall weather.

Craig and I spent yesterday doing yard stuff. Well, mostly Craig did lots of yard chores while I did a modest amount of weeding and snapped a bunch of photos of the early October garden. It has rained so much over the last few weeks that we haven’t had a weekend day to be out in the yard to poke around or get anything done until yesterday!

The grass finally gets a mow after 3 weeks!

The grass was getting so long we could have created designs.

After Craig finished mowing, he tackled the front hedges which were starting to get a little bit unruly.

While he clipped back the hedges, I surveyed the progress of our new grass growing out front. Not too bad!

I started weeding the front flower bed and decided that the strange pine bush that has been growing steadily in there for the last several years is no longer cute and had to go.

So, when Craig was done with the hedges, he dug out the bush and replanted it in the back yard. When he was all done, he joined me in the veggie garden where I pointed out that one of the broccoli plants had started to bolt. He decided it must still be edible.

He munched on the bolting stalks, flowers and all. The verdict: still tastes like broccoli!

Well, phew. We try not to let anything go to waste. Especially on a gorgeous, sunny, super warm October day. I love weekends like this!

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Posted in Household Management 101, The Growing Season | 2 Comments »

wide awake with wonder

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

It is late. And I need to go to bed. But I cannot fall asleep! It is the end of June, and I find myself pausing to take in the wonder.

The beauty of Summer finally here after such a long and weary winter. The smell of fresh-cut grass after Craig mowed tonight. Our little house slowly transforming itself with new floors, a new fan in the living room, a porch waiting to be loved, walls waiting to be painted. Our car finally inspected after having to get the windshield replaced today after it cracked this winter. Our fridge stocked with freshly picked lettuces and baby spinach and sugar snap peas and garlic scapes from the garden. A new jug of straight-from-the-cow raw milk that my Mom picked up from the farm today. Bills all paid for the month. My running shoes taking a break after a hearty workout. Stacks and stacks of books piled neatly on the dresser waiting for me to dive into them. Work completed today and still more work just waiting for me to tackle tomorrow.

I am so thankful for how busy and wonderful and productive June has been. I have been making such a conscientious effort to be more efficient and productive this month. No matter how often I get frustrated or how often I feel overwhelmed with how much I have to do and all that I want to get done, I have been trying harder than ever to go with the flow and take very slow—yet very deliberate—baby steps to get more things accomplished in my day-to-day. I am a lover of to-do lists, but they often get recycled from week to week and not much ever gets crossed off.

But not this month. I set out with some pretty ambitious goals, and I made them happen one small step at a time! And that is worth celebrating! Here are a few highlights:
refinish hardwood floors in living room and dining room
buy ceiling fan for living room
get ceiling fan installed
remove knob and tube wiring in the attic
rewire upstairs hallway light
• install new outside outlet near driveway
rewire basement
get rid of old couch
get quotes for painting living room and dining room
decide on new paint colors
weed garden
plant tomatoes
clean gas grill and use it!
fix cracked windshield on car
get car inspected
make and keep dentist appointment
• make and keep doctor’s appointment
make and keep annual exam
make running a priority
• remember to take vitamin and fish oil
• reorganize and de-clutter basement
• get porch repainted! (working on it… TBD… asap!)

Phew. It’s been hectic and rewarding and awesome around here. But right now I should be asleep! Still so much swirling around in my brain. Taking it all in. I feel good. I feel relaxed and invigorated and satisfied… albeit wide awake.

Some old habits die hard I suppose. Happy June to you! I hope your month has been everything you wanted it to be!

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Posted in Household Management 101, Let's Get Physical, The Daily Balance, The Growing Season | No Comments »

rainy and humid june

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Helllllooooo! It has been quite a week. Busy and full. And I cannot believe that the end of June is here. Do I say this near the end of every month? Yeah, I pretty much do. The work/life/home balance right now is definitely doing its dance. Happy Summer by the way! Summer is officially here! We are in it! Wahooo!

Last week was filled with electrical work on the house. Two full days of it. We had electricians roaming all over the house doing a bunch of work on the master home to-do list. We got rid of the last of the knob and tube (eek!) in our attic which involved rewiring the light in our upstairs hallway. No more knob and tube!

We added a new outside outlet near the driveway so we can vacuum the cars and work on outdoor projects without having to run an extension cord from the kitchen window. We had some rewiring done in the basement. And we had our living room wired for a ceiling fan. The new ceiling fan was installed in the living room… except that it isn’t functional yet because the wall controls didn’t work. Total bummer. Our poor electrician on Tuesday was in a panic because he couldn’t figure out why the fan wouldn’t run. Turns out the wall switch was DOA.

Now we are patiently awaiting for the new wall switch to arrive. It was backordered until the end of July. But I pitched a fit and the manufacturer found one that they said would ship this week. Fingers crossed. Then the electrician will come back and finish the job. And THEN I will finally post pics of our updated living room room with new floors and fan!

Been raining on and off for the better part of the last 2 weeks. Rain almost every day! We are trying to have our screened porch painted, and so far we have been delayed 2 weeks by the rain. Hopefully this week will finally be a go! I feel like we are juggling so many projects and none of them can quite get done. I just want to be able to enjoy our porch and fan while it is still summer!

What else? Oh yeah, the camera. Not working again. And I think it has to do with the recent humidity. Every time the camera will not turn on, it is usually because of hot, humid weather. I really want to be able to take pics, so I have to figure out a long-term solution.

Now for the positives… I have had two really good weeks of running. I love running in the rain. Sloshing through puddles! I have also gone on a few enjoyable and challenging bike rides. I want to go on more and more. Biking is such great exercise and is also tons of fun. I’ve been (mostly) getting to bed earlier which I think is a direct result of working out harder. Makes me tired and eager to sleep.

What else? Since it is June and summer is upon us, here is a pic of one of our blueberry bushes coming along quite nicely!
blueberry bush

Should be real, ripe blueberries very soon!

Posted in Household Management 101, Let's Get Physical, The Daily Balance | 1 Comment »

ridiculously productive weekends rock!

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

How was your weekend? I hope it was relaxing and fruitful. We braved the on-and-off rain all weekend long, but we managed to cross soooo many things off of the to-do list. And we grilled and cooked. And we relaxed plenty. It was really awesome.

For starters, yesterday we finally moved most of our furniture back downstairs and back inside from having the floors redone over a week ago. We had mostly been living upstairs for the last two weeks. The computer is still upstairs, as are the bookcases. We shall see if they stay up there or migrate back down.

In addition, we cleaned off our screened-in porch because we are having it painted later this week! I am really excited about this next project. I had to move all of my houseplants back inside from off the porch (their temporary home over the last two weeks while we were having the floors done).
plants on porch

While Craig worked on wiping down all the porch furniture (pollen explosion!) and moving it to the basement, I cleaned the pollen off of all my houseplants and did some much-needed trimming.

unruly house plant

Eek!

trimmed house plant

Ahh... much better.

plant trimmings

I rooted some of the cuttings, and I will compost the rest.

Once I was done moving the plants back indoors, I wiped down all the curtain rods in the living room and dining room and put all the curtains back up. Then I moved on to putting our upstairs drain in the bathtub back together after its necessary semi-annual cleaning of my hair. Oh the fun! Oh the excitement!

Hey, it’s done. And I love having a free-flowing drain and clean tub!

Then it was off to tend to laundry and other Sunday chores like emptying the compost, gathering the garbage to put out, putting away clean clothes and linens (fresh, clean towels!), replacing the dish cloths, and making tomorrow’s lunches for work: roasted red pepper hummus sandwiches with garden greens and cucumber slices.
hummus sandwich

Meanwhile, Craig dragged our poor old couch to the curb for its pickup tomorrow. Our “casualty” from getting the floors done. Time to get rid of the ancient, sagging, icky couch. We are a little sad to see it go since we are now couch-less, but it’s time.
couch

Finally I did my early evening garden walkabout and picked some radishes to use for dinner. I decided to roast some organic chicken thighs with green peppers, poblano peppers, onions, carrots, and radishes.
radish pepper onion

roasted chicken and veggies

We started with fresh-picked salad greens from the garden, then topped the greens with brown rice followed by the roasted chicken and veggies (roasted with olive oil, garlic, black pepper, and herbs). A hearty and well-deserved meal after a long day of crossing things off the to-do list. It feels so good to start the work week knowing the porch is cleaned off, the plants are back inside, the laundry and cleaning are done, lunch is made, and my belly is full.

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Posted in Household Management 101, The Growing Season | 2 Comments »

heat wave!

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Helllloooo! It is hot here. Toasty. Humid. This is total and utter lethargic weather. It’s nearly 11 p.m. right now and it is 85°F outside and a balmy 83°F inside. Yeah. Really warm.

The camera is still on the fritz. It turns on sometimes, and then not so much. Still trying to figure out the problem. We are still living predominantly upstairs after our hardwood floors got refinished at the end of last week. They look amazing, and I really do hope to be able to post pics soon! June banner will have to wait until I can get photos off of my camera. Everything right now is in disheveled, pause, slow-down mode. But I am okay with that.

All this upheaval in the living arrangements and routine has been good for me. Gives me a chance to think about habits and routine and processes and getting by without the “normal” things… like cable, space, furniture, etc. We have been without TV for a week now, and I have to say, I pretty much like it. I am sure we will start moving furniture back into the living room over the next few days (heat permitting!) but it has been sort of nice to come home from work and do gardening, create makeshift dinners in our cramped kitchen, and then retreat to reading upstairs in bed.

Being forced out of the routine is a blessing in strange ways. I find I can get by with less room, less familiarity, less of the same-old. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait until we have our living and dining room back, but I am sort of enjoying this change-up. I am now committed to simplifying and decluttering our living space.

And I am content to be less productive in this ridiculous heat wave. It is supposed to hover around 101°F tomorrow. Yikes. I am happy to find a sundress to wear to work, to make hummus and tabouli sandwiches for lunches instead of soup, to come home and water the garden, and to walk around the neighborhood as dusk settles around 9 p.m. It all means summer and sumptuousness!

I will take it!

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Posted in Household Management 101, The Daily Balance | 2 Comments »

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