Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Progress! Yes!

I certainly have been busy around here lately for a couple reasons. First, because things have to get taken care of and second, to keep my mind occupied as I try to sort out other areas of frustration in my life. The busier I am physically the less angst I feel emotionally. So I spend a good chunk of the day taking care of personal business and the rest of the day taking care of things that need to be done.

Progress! You never know when opportunity will come knocking at your door and when it does I always want to be prepared! I am not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants girl! I am a lets plan, plan, plan girl because I never want to be caught off guard. I was not always like this but once you have lived life for a bit, you will come to learn how you were meant to deal with the world. Escapism is not an option here, hence, my quest to blog.

This is one project that was driving me crazy to do FOR A COUPLE YEARS! I bought these cute metal buckets for super cheap a few years back and they were light blue. Great! The blue went with the cottage light-and-airy feel of our house that we were creating! One day a couple years ago I realized I was sick of the light blue that was all over the house: the carpet throughout, the curtains, the walls, the bathroom, the towels, the buckets and on and on! Way too much blue was taking up residence inside the house! ...and our house trim is blue along with the doors to every entry into the house and shed! ...enough! While changing the large items like the carpet and the house trim will cost quite a bit, I opted to change what I could that wouldn't require a hefty emptying of my pockets and bank account! Start small and work my way up is my thinking! So, this is where I began...with a can of celery colored spray paint! Yup, love the color! So, yesterday, I emptied all my kitchen necessities from the buckets, washed them, dried them in the sun, and sprayed away! I over sprayed here and there and if you look close you will see my Oops! but who really cares? Two coats later and these little charmers have new life and new color! Small and inconsequential to most but for me, it brought a little peace to my kitchen counter!

This little "thingy" was next on the "to-do" list! What is it you ask? It is a milk jug holder! Don't you have one? This cute little holder was only a couple dollars at a consignment shop I frequent quite regularly. It was filled with old milk bottles for several dollars a piece and didn't really need them (well, I really didn't need to spend the money at the moment!). I could spare the $2 on the ticket. White...blah! Here comes celery! So, what will I really do with this little useless item? I have a small collection of glass baby bottles to fill these little spaces topped off with some wild flowers to bring more peace into my home!

Next, the door! Oh, the door! Seven years living in this house and I finally get to this icky project! It is quite bad in the picture and has been a growing problem since the house was purchased. OK, wipe it off, what is the big deal, right? Well, this gunk was living and growing between the two sliding glass doors out to the deck. I have attempted many times to clean the gunk with little success. Today was THE day! I thought that it was a small project that required a rag and some organic cleaner. Low and behold it also required a screwdriver, a chair, balance, and strength. I never took into consideration the weight of the door once I took the supporting bracket off. Now I understand why there are 8 screws all along the bracket...to hold the 150lb door in place, duh!

OK, the screws were taken out while I stood on a chair and then I was left with this heavy door WHILE standing on the chair! UT-oh, was my first reaction. Now what? I had no one to help me and all I thought was if I break this door I do not have the money to have a new door put in and if it falls outward it is going to tear apart the new metal screen that I just replaced because the umbrella went through the old one. I thought I was in trouble but with all my strength I was able to dislodge the door enough to get to the gross part! Phew...no accidents, yet!

Organic cleaner and a rag...not enough! I needed to take out my grout brush, too! The mold was so thick that wiping it just made a smeary mess. Scrub. Scrub. Scrub. This went on for a good half hour. So much for a five minute job so I could retreat to cleaning the kitchen floor! Mind you, the hazy-hot-humid air mass finally reached Rhode Island! Not a fun project to complete on one of these days! But, after about an hour and lots of finagling of getting the door back on the tracks to roll smoothly, THIS project was finally complete. I now feel like I have a brand new door!

Moving onto the garden! Strawberries! We have strawberries and lots of them. I have been watching and waiting for them to turn and finally, today, they started! There are many more to have their day in the sun until they reach perfection! I only hope that the array of animals we have around here (wildlife actually!) that they don't scoff up the yummy treats before we do! Two strawberries fell victim to this kind of prey and I hope no more reach their demise the same way!

These were the absolute best strawberries I have ever had! Naturally grown, no pesticides....just water and sun!

The Gardens!
 The gardens are also making their way to live a long and prosperous life on our patch of land! While I thoroughly enjoy gardening I can't say I am any where near being a master at it. I have an aunt and uncle whom I would consider are masters at gardening but I am not there yet. But I find a lot of pleasure and peace when I have the opportunity to work in the yard. Getting my hands dirty, weeding, watering, and relocating plants helps me negotiate other parts of my life with greater ease. I would associate it to others who work out every day! (Well, I used to work out every day and have lapsed in this area!) Anyway, I can also see progress immediately so-to-speak. I know with hard work and tender care my plants will thrive and I will be able to reap the benefits of the edibles!

There can't be enough color in the world and there can't be enough color in my yard! No, I am not a phenatic about gardening or plants but when I walk around the yard or pull into the drive way and there are little pops of color all around...it makes me smile! Color brings happiness to me especially with plants! These are two varieties of plants I have in my gardens next to my home. Do I recall at the moment their names, of course not, but either way, they are perennial and have paid their visit religiously for the last few years. Each year they come back slightly bigger and stronger and more vibrant!

While I have the space for a much larger garden, this space works quite well and is much longer than the picture shows! The width of this space is about 4 feet and it is about 12 feet long. The majority of what is here are my strawberry plants. Yup, two plants from Walmart created this fruit jungle! However, there are other culprits that exist in this space. Closest to the birdbath is my herb garden that includes chives, basil, several varieties of thyme, dill, parsley, and mesculine lettuce mix. On the opposite side (which is not in the photo) are the tomato and pepper plants.

In past years I have included many other plants: cucumbers, beans, squashes, radishes, brussel sprouts, carrots...but found that over crouding took place and it welcomed and infestation of little bugs who thrived on my goodies. Over time I have scaled back the portions and varities of plants to help control the bug problems. Pesticides, fertilizers, sprays with chemicals to treat these issues are not used here and despite the irritation I feel when my plants are someone elses meal I won't use them. Some plants are more attractive to bugs than others but one plant that bugs don't really like is basil so there are several basil plants scattered throughout the garden!

Below is what lives happily in my garden patch this year!

So, lots of good things have been happening here and while I continue to nagivate other parts of my life this is what brings a lot of peace, happiness, and joy to my life every day!

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