Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Report Card

At the beginning of November I posted a list of projects I wanted to accomplish during the month. So, now it's time for show and tell…

1. Prepare gardens for winter.     Incomplete. But, it isn't 'cause I didn't do something!! The only thing that remains unfinished is turning the vegetable garden, and putting a fence around the tulips. I decided wracking my elbow wasn't worth it.  Grade: C

2. Create!     In progress. I have completed gifts for one son and the MIL. I prepared the gourds for painting.  (Oh, how I wish I could put pictures up of the gifts I made… but I know at least one recipient checks out my blog now and then!)    Grade: C+

3. Complete the sweater I began knitting for my grand niece.    Still knitting! I did make some progress, but I still have a sleeve and a half and trim. Grade D

4. Enjoy Dad.   I get an A+ in this. Well, maybe a B. I hauled out some items and visited almost every day. I made a cushion holder for the gel cushion he uses in his wheel chair, to keep it from slipping forward, and I made a side-support for the wheel chair, since he tends to list to the left, his weaker side. I found some 'tools' at several different 2nd hand shops (did you know that the word 'toy' came from the word 'tool'?). Dad constructs with MegaBlocks and tinkers with an Italian gear toy. I also found a nifty architect toy tool, where he can design houses. It's a bit beyond him, but he does use it now and then. I also found a knobby ball that, with prompting, helps him exercise his left hand. My favorite thing, however, is the "console" I made for him. Perhaps this should raise my grade for creating! What do you think?

It keeps him busy!

5. Make basement habitable.  I painted. I vacuumed. I sorted and moved stuff. I put together the missing can lights and put new bulbs in. I put up pictures. I 'scored', finding two bed spreads at the Salvation Army on 1/2 price day… $5 each! I converted an extra cabinet door into a hat/coat hanger.  I remade the dresser into the vanity for the bath… AND, I cleaned the toilet! Ta-daaa! I haven't bothered to clean it since we moved in, and who knows when it was last cleaned before we purchased the house! Then, I messed it all up again in doing my sewing projects. I still need to move the exercise equipment between the two day beds. I couldn't manage that on my own, but now that Mr. Dreamy is home….   Final Grade: B-

(Mr. Dreamy helped me get the counter/sink on the dresser
when he got back this afternoon!)

6. Finish making quilled Christmas cards.

Well, I made a few. My quilling supplies were with Mr. Dreamy in Florida, so at this point all I could do is put together the cards, and use the few quilled prototypes I made before we left on our trip this fall to finish a few. Actually, after all this effort, I'm not sure I care for them. Oh well, it's better than sending nothing!  Grade: C

So, I didn't fail. I did put a lot of effort into everything. I simply had a problem finishing what I started. Uh, oh. I've heard comments about that throughout my life! 

As much as I groused about creating a list, I did like the idea of having specific things to focus on as the month progressed. Would I have accomplished as much without having created and posted the list? Probably, as there are a number of things I did accomplish that weren't even on the list.  

So, what about December?  

I think I'll forego an actual "to-do" list as almost all of it revolves around preparing the house for the holidays and for guests, and everything that goes along with that (cleaning, organizing, planning menus and getting food, gifts, etc) All I know is that Christmas will be here before I know it… and I have a lot of things to accomplish!

How about you? What are your "must do's" for the coming month?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A New Leaf on Life

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist the play on words.
But, I really do have a new leaf.
See it here?!

I have two phalaenopsis orchids.  It is hard to resist buying them at Costco or Trader Joe's. They are so beautiful, but generally, once they have finished blossoming I can't do a thing with them, except throw them out. This year, knowing we'd be traveling and house plants would not receive even my terrible standard of care, we installed them in this handy dandy greenhouse my son gave us a few years ago. 

It seems they like the humid environment. Duh! They live in the jungle, you know!! Besides the new leaf, the other phalaenopsis put up lots of roots… and a new flower shoot. It turns out it was drowning in an inappropriate pot with no drainage. I guess the flower stalk was a last chance bid to share its genes in this world! I repotted it, in orchid bark, in an orchid pot, and put it back in the greenhouse. It will probably die, now!

However, the reason I chose to select the picture above is so you can see the background. See the gapped-tooth grin in the stone on our fireplace? When we moved in a lot of the rock had fallen off. We never found the one(s) that went front and center. But, now….

My painted styrofoam looks pretty good, don't ya think?! I'm not certain what I'll do when we turn the fireplace on. Perhaps it will have to be like dentures that have to be taken out at certain times!

Here is another example of a new leaf on life…

This cruddy, old dresser was exactly the right size to be reborn as a vanity for the sink we pulled out of the bathroom in the basement. 
I took the top off. Cut the drawers and cut the back for the pipes and drain.

I realized the vanity was going to be really short. 
So I added some height.

 After a few coats of paint…
and some details…

It's finished! 
And look, it has leaves, too!

Now I just need to wait for Mr. Dreamy to come home to help me hoist the sink on top!
Oh, and yeah, I have to decide what to do about knobs for the drawer fronts.

We have had some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.  Last night, as I was leaving my Dad's building, I was hit, smacked in the face, by this sunset. The cerulean/turquoise blue of the sky was almost blinding. The brilliance doesn't quite translate over to the picture. But, coming outside to this just takes ones breath away… and certainly gives one a new leaf lease on life!

I hope you can enjoy a new 'leaf' on life, too!