Rain, Rain…You Know the Rest

In our neck of the woods (depending on who you ask Upstate or Central NY), spring is a luxury. It usually lasts a month, tops, before hitting the gas and speeding into summer. While we’ve had some humidity and high-ish temperatures this year, we’ve definitely had a SPRING. I write that in all-caps because we’ve had an ungodly amount of rain.

Aside from some flooding and already a few tornado touch-downs (which is rare around these parts), we’ve generally been subjected to just lots ‘n lots ‘n lots of rain…or at least warnings of rain. Some days we had “chances” of rain, so we made plans accordingly, only to see a mostly sunny, gorgeous day. Looking at the 7-day forecast has been enough to make you cry, especially when you’re dying to get your garden going.

So, rather than bitch about things that we cannot control (but, sigh, isn’t it good to do that from time to time?), I shall focus both this blog post and my general mental state towards the projects that I’m itching to complete…once the forecasts for rain (and tornado waches) taper off.

My list includes those things that I’ve look at while holding Winston for his once-and-awhile “outside time” (gotta hold him tightly, that cat is FAST), thinking to myself “I should….” In other words, these may be summer projects…or autumn projects…or….

– Stain and paint the deck (which has had a year to “cure” since it was built – and, yes, I’m both staining AND painting the thing. Don’t judge. It’s gonna look fab.)
– Actually put furniture and the grill ON the deck!!! (Clearly have waited to do that until the above is completed.)
– Finish weeding.
– Prep last year’s veggie bed and build/fill/prep the new one (and mound a “pile o’ dirt” for the zukes ‘n taters). The building can’t be accomplished ’til a weekend since the hubs and I enjoy building stuff together. Gotta keep things fresh and exciting, ya know!
– PLANT both veggies AND flowers, finally.
– Get the front porch fixed…and stain/paint accordingly when done. It’s fine, really, just not regulation. Whatever (ahem, holding my tongue) individual built the thing originally before selling/dumping the house built the porch part without measuring the proper height for the stairs, so there’s a mini 1″ step up at the top. Not so safe. Silly.
– Take tree pictures. Gonna miss that sucker, especially with its wildlife and shade…but it’s just too dangerous and half-dead. Bittersweet. The cats will hate us for getting rid of their #1 place for entertainment. (It’ll be taken down in late June.)
– Finish digging out the rest of the intrusive ivy plants.
– Get the windows wrapped… (This one’s kind of out of my hands, but they look bad so it bugs me. Oh, and I’d just like to brag that we have almost all-new windows. Almost.)
– Power wash the house. Hope that the siding doesn’t lose any color in the process. Paint the whole darn thing if it does damage. *sigh*
– Paint the foundation, side door, shutters, and possibly scrape ‘n paint the garage. Yeah, you know this isn’t all going to happen this summer. A girl can dream, right?
– Speaking of “ain’t happenin’ this summer” (there IS such a thing as $$$…wait, does that make me an adult now? Crap.), one compound word: driveway. It’s N-E-V-E-R been re-done since it was first put in well over 50 years ago. Can we say “ruts”?
– Spray paint my clearance matchstick blinds. Yeah, there’s no other place to do that without asphyxiating myself, and we wouldn’t want that, would we? All I can picture is the cats saying, “But but but who will take us outside? And clip our nails? And punish us LOUDLY? Oh, wait.”
– FINALLY Drylok & paint the basement, then organize. Yes, that’s inside, but the walls and floor need to be completely dry before we Drylok, and right now we’re experiencing seepage. Hee hee. Seepage. Love that word!

I’m guessing there’s more, but I just don’t have it in my head right now. But, guess what! Here are some things that I CAN do INside while I wait for the weather to change:

– Turn my sights back to the bathroom. Why is it that whenever I get the motivation (sorry, but the ceiling work makes my hernia act up, very uncomfortable…TMI?) it’s at a moment that I have plans coming up and probably shouldn’t show up to them with drywall dust and paint all over my head and face.
– Clean. That includes the fact that I probably should go down to the cellar and condense stuff so that things are easier to work with when we DO finally get to the painting.
– Work on plans for my sister’s baby shower. (Excitement!!!!!!!!!)
– Redesign the blog. Somehow, this gets me nothing but more frustrated.
– Actually FINALLY order professional-ish prints from the wedding. Ka-ching. 😉 But, this could help with adding some art to the house. This is another thing I should ppprrrrobably do with Dave.
– Draw/paint.
– Read.
– I’d bake bread, but it’s sooooooo humid and hot lately!!! Okay, okay. I’ll crack out the bread maker that my mother-in-law so graciously let me take. Oh, but that means I’ll have to look up baking instructions online. There. That’s on the checklist.
– Research some grants for the theater.
– Start planning for the next show we’re doing.
– Determine a final color scheme for the living room/staircase. When this rug is finally pulled up (oh, what a happy day that will be! Er. I hope. God, I can picture something horrible happening and my going nuts just tearing this sucker out. *shivers* Okay, let’s hope that doesn’t happen), that will change the entire ball game as far as design. Currently, the living room feels okay but slightly outdated with dark tan, sage green, crimson and cream (the dining room is crimson and also neeeeeeeeds to be transformed)…but things seem to be leaning towards the tans/browns/creams — too monochromatic. Eh. Clearly need more thinking on this point. Any suggestions are welcome.
– I’m sure my husband has a handful of friendly reminders. There are far too many “to do” lists when one owns a house. But, we’re lucky.
– Ah! Sleep!! You can SLEEP inside. Nice. A thousand points for me.

Did I miss anything I should add?? Do you have any projects or overwhelming (or even underwhelming) tasks on your radar? Feel free to vent.

As a post-script, I’d like to send my condolences to those who have lost everything, from belongings and homes to loved ones, in the tornadic events of the Midwest. I can’t imagine and am lucky. Period.

Reupholstering Life

While I’ve only reupholstered one piece of furniture in my life, there’s something strangely therapeutic in it. I’m cleaaaaarly no expert – I mean, I’ve got a sewing machine but have yet to figure out what the heck I’ve done to jam it up and render it practically useless. (Note to self: Call Mom about that.) But, if it’s a simple enough project, it can be fun and, while time consuming, a good way to keep one’s hands busy…especially with a good movie on to watch while doing it.

The first chair that I did was a cheapy from Salvation Army. I purchased it while we were waiting for our current house to close, so I NEEDED a low-cost project to busy myself with. The lines were great; the original fabric…whoa. It was the texture of a shower curtain liner. Not a shower curtain. The liner. No exaggeration. Great for those with incontinence issues.

Anyhoo, the actual tearing out of the original fabric and staples took awhile…as did the final upholstery job. But, what I ended up with was a cute, satin-esque, “vintage”-looking chair. The chair is on the right side of this awesome professional pic of Dave and I (taken by our wedding photog, Sarah Beck). Can’t see it great, but the whiteness worked unexpectedly well when we bought our black and white floor. I always wanted a couch in the kitchen, just like mentioned in old stories like Little Women, so in a small-ish space, an upholstered armchair works just fine!

This chair, due to unforeseen circumstances that I will discuss when I’m good ‘n ready and not a minute sooner (sob, sob), will be reupholstered yet again this summer. Besides, satin (although it was inexpensive – clearly not the “real stuff”) isn’t the most practical of fabrics for a kitchen, right?

To dip my toe back into the reupholstering pool, I recently re-carpeted our kitty scratching post. Seriously! The original one was $14 or so, and the carpet piece that I found was $1.99 – and will be used twice, with some leftover. Hey, when you find something that both the little guys will adhere to, you don’t want to move their cheese too much. New carpeting was just the trick. Here’s the play-by-play:

Beardslee, getting an A+ in demonstrating the finer points of scratching a post.

 …and suddenly being struck by the debilitating shyness that so frequently consumes him.

Winston, growing suspicious of why I might be taking pictures of the scratching post.
Smart lil’ guy.

 It was wrecked.

The tools. Carpet. Scissors. Pliers. Staple “gun” (not really a gun…probably the wrong term). Safety blade I ended up using to get most of the original carpeting off.

Luckily, the carpet was quite cheap and the thick backing came off easily.

Cutting the rug…exciting stuff.

 The empty “post”. ie Very thick cardboard.

A few minutes of stapling, and here’s the finished product. Proud to say the boys haven’t torn out any staples yet!

No matter how hard they may try…

So, as a little project (can be called a summer project…or not, since I may get at least one finished before the summer), I’ve picked up several pieces to reupholster. One, an ottoman I’ve been DYING to use in the living room, I got for around $20 at a tag sale sort of place. The other two items, an armchair (with only the seat to reupholster – it’s still in the car, so no pics of that available currently) and a bench, I got for just under $13 TOTAL at Salvation Army. After shelling out around $50 on new batting and fabric (still need to get some paint, but I’ll have to match it), you can average each piece to costing just shy of $28. Not too shabby – although I’m sure I’ll show favoritism to the cheapest pieces. No lie.

Here’s where the decision-making lies… I’m going to ponder over the choices and will let you know, or, if I have a really hard time deciding, I’ll show you way better pictures (including that pesky armchair and a broader shot of the now-green ottoman) and take your advice! As it is, here’s a sneak preview:

The fabric I’m deciding between for the chair and ottoman…

The boys christening their new toys. “You got deef for uf, right??” Actually, that’s partly true.
Boo pondering my third fabric choice. This one, I KNOW I’m going to use on the bench he has so ceremoniously dubbed his throne. He’d better like it!

Yeah, that throne. In rough shape, but lots of potential.
(The bench, not Beardslee! He’s doing just fine…well, except for his allergies and ear issues…)

You can at least see a side-by-side comparison of each fabric on the ottoman. Anything’s better than the green! I’ll gladly take suggestions now, but without getting into the color schemes in each room (clearly, I’ve got a brown thing goin’ on), it’s hard to get TOO into it.