Posts Tagged ‘housework’

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come on, irene

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Well, we survived hurricane tropical storm Irene in one piece. We spent all day yesterday prepping for her arrival. I installed a new gutter piece on the flat roof over our living room. Craig caulked the gutters over the porch. He mowed and trimmed the dogwood tree out front. And we cleaned up the yard. I picked any tomatoes from the garden that looked even the slightest bit ripe… just in case.

Well, Irene did indeed come through starting around 7 a.m. this morning. But she was much gentler than we thought she would be. Which I suppose is a good thing. Our power went out just before noon. We got a little bit of water in the basement, but nothing that couldn’t easily be mopped up (yeah shamwow!)

Craig and I decided to take a long walk to feel the rain and the winds. We saw some downed trees on the golf course near our house, and we saw some fallen limbs here and there. But no major flooding or craziness. Around 3 p.m. we went out to grab a late lunch, sandwiches from one of our very favorite local pubs. We still were without power, so it seemed like a great chance to hop in the car and listen to the radio for updates.

Within 5 minutes of getting back home, the power was back! Yeah! So all in all, we lost power for just over 4 hours. I think that everything in the fridge and freezer made it through. I had made sure the icemaker was doing its job for the days leading up to Irene’s arrival, and I am thankful that I have more than a few mason jars of frozen homemade broth on hand, which I am sure helped to keep the temp in the freezer cold. Nothing seemed to have thawed in that time space.

So now it is night time, and while the rain has moved on out, there are still some really crazy wind gusts going on. It is really crisp out and the constant breeze and winds remind me of fall. I am just not quite there yet, even though I realize that the end of August is here.

I am very thankful that the damage was not worse. While I love good weather, being a homeowner makes me more nervous and sobers me to the seriousness of potential storm damage. I am sending out all my good thoughts to those who fared worse in this storm.

And I hope that wherever you are, you are snuggled somewhere safe and cozy!

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Posted in The Daily Balance | 1 Comment »

balmy monday

Monday, July 11th, 2011

It is HOT out. I am declaring the obvious emphatically. HOT HOT HOT. It is ten of nine on Monday night and it’s 86 degrees inside. Yes, inside.

Steamy.

This weather makes it tough to want to do anything at all besides sit around like a lazy bones and try not to sweat too much. I caved and ordered pizza tonight because I just couldn’t bear the thought of cooking, even if it was a salad. I didn’t want to be anywhere near the kitchen. So I splurged on pizza. It will likely last me all week.

Craig is in Germany on business, and I am tending to the house. Everything is everywhere (again) as we are painting the dining room and living room, and stairway. No TV plugged in, couch is moved to the center of the living room, and I can barely find my shoes.

Soon all the improvements will be done! But for now, I will enjoy delicious pizza from a local shop. This pizza has big pieces of roasted garlic, spinach, and basil. I will savor my alone time to its fullest. I will sit on the porch and will the breeze to rustle the trees.

This is definitely summer.

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Posted in The Daily Balance | 1 Comment »

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 »

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 »

winding down May

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Hellllllllooooo! Still no camera working. I feel naked without it. It is so strange to go about my day and not be able to document it. I didn’t call the manufacturer today because my work day was crazy… and I am fairly certain I am SOL because my warranty is up. Errrrg. I did manage to find my old camera. Lo and behold it still works. But it won’t take my SDHC card. So now I am trying to dig up a smaller card and the cable to connect it to the computer. If I can manage this in the middle of moving furniture and tables, then I will be back in business at least for a while!

So bear with me while I sort out camera ridiculousness and the complete upheaval of our downstairs. I will find a way to snap some pics. Fixing the floors must be documented!

In preparation for the overhaul, I have also been researching ceiling fans, because we are going to install one in the living room. FINALLY. It has been sooooooo very warm here for the past 4 days. Sweltering. A ceiling fan will go a long way toward getting the breeze going downstairs. We do have a small A/C unit that we use in the master bedroom, but that is it. Although I am starting to rethink this strategy. I usually do not mind the heat, but it does get quite balmy inside. Makes it hard to function. I find myself so lethargic, just splayed out on the couch we are about to chuck (maybe?). Heh heh.

Yeah, we are quickly losing furniture and gaining all sorts of lofty ideas about ways to upgrade and improve our space. It’s almost like we think we have the money to redecorate with wild abandon. Hah!

So it will start with a ceiling fan and we will take it from there.

In other news, can you believe it is the end of May? The last full-time Spring month. I still remember the snow. It was not so long ago — it snowed on April Fools’ Day. And now we have temps in the upper 80s and low 90s. The crickets are singing at night. There is still a sliver of light in the sky at 9 p.m. I have mosquito bites dotting my legs and the backs of my arms from planting heirloom tomatoes yesterday. I heard fireworks in the distance this weekend. Craig has a sunburn from running. I don’t want to cook anymore because it is too hot in the kitchen. We have to run the dehumidifier in the basement because it is swampy.

Summer is coming. Fast. Sweetly. I am doing my best to savor every day.

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Posted in Household Management 101, The Daily Balance | No Comments »

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