Thus endeth the summer

And what a summer it was! A whole lot got done outside, thanks in very large part to the enthusiasm of JD. He was responsible for arranging to have the rotting front porch replaced, and for being the motivation behind the two of us getting a good chunk of the fence re-stained, which it sorely needed.

The new porch is lovely, and isn’t nearly as bouncy or slopey as the old one, which are probably Very Good Things.

And here’s a shot of the equally lovely look of freshly stained fence:

Pretty newly-stained fence

Ain’t it purdy?

I also did some fiddling with the eavestroughs and downspouts that were damaged by the ice dams last winter. That was about a 50-50 success. I got the stuff nailed back up and reconnected, but that led to further excitement. In the front, the tree keeps pulling the downspout off the eavestrough. I really hope they make flexible connectors that fit. In the back, I got it all wonderfully reconnected, only to discover during the next downpour that one of the connections in the basement (in the pipe that takes it from the outside to the sewer connector) had come loose and was streaming water down over my hot water tank. Lovely.

Luckily when I replaced the deteriorating inside piping years ago I had the forethought to install a drain plug over the utility sink in the basement. I undid the drain plug and consequently unleashed a shower of black muck that had been accumulating in the low spot over the intervening years. Fortunately most of it went into the sink. Also fortunately I was wearing black. ‘Nuff said.

I have dibbled in 28 cloves of garlic that will hopefully overwinter and sprout to glorious garlicky life in the spring. Anyone know any good garlic recipes? I think I’m going to need them.

Freshly dibbled garlic cloves

Leftover wood bits from the new porch.

The leaves have mostly fallen, and all the delicate plants have been brought inside. I think it’s time to have a bit of a rest before resuming work on the inside. In spite of all the outside work, the number on the whiteboard is down to 5523.

The grrlz approve of the fall:

The dogs of fall

Not worth barking at.

Categories: Outside | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Well, that was a month….

May was one of the more whirlwind months I think I’ve ever experienced. It started with JD and I going to another province to help his elderly aunt move into an assisted living facility, and ended with us having to deal with her estate and all the stuff we’d moved only a couple of weeks before. Truly a roller coaster on many levels. We’re both feeling physically and emotionally drained (JD much more than me, naturally).

Aside from the obvious of not getting anything done because we were out of the province for 3/4 of the month, there’s the added complication of inherited stuff. Not much, but still 4-5 banker boxes that have appeared in my living room.

I know it’s extraordinary circumstances, but the result has been a feeling of futility. Yes, there was actually room to put the boxes so they’re not in the main traffic path, but now that lovely freed-up space is gone. I know I need to be less fragile about it all, but it’s discouraging how quickly progress can vanish. *poof*

Oh well, off to plug away at another room for a bit.

The good news is that the number on the whiteboard has decreased from 6000 to 5669.

Categories: Goals, Living Room | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Wow, time sure does pass, don’t it?

Much more time has passed than I’ve realized. Sorry ’bout that. Things got a bit crazy. Okay, yeah, things are always crazy, but this was a bit beyond the norm.

I was laid off at the end of October due to funding cuts, and things have been a roller coaster since then. I’d like to get my own website business going, but the main thing I’ve learned in this process is that nothing brings out the deep-seated feelings of inadequacy like trying to be self-employed. The internal chorus of, “Who do you think you are??” can be deafening at times.

Part of the problem is, of course, that this is my second lay-off in 5 years. I worked for 25 years without a problem. Now I have a Master’s degree and I’ve spent more time unemployed since graduating than I ever did before. What happened to all the bright and shiny promises of advancement and opportunity that I heard before I took the degree? From where I’m sitting, it’s more like it’s made me unemployable. The confusion caused by being told, essentially, “You’ve been a great asset to us and your work is stellar; here’s you pink slip.” really plays havoc with self-esteem, too. It leaves me wondering if everything I’ve believed is false. Can I trust my own perceptions any more? Is there any practical value in my own judgements?

On the plus side, I’ve had lots of time for cleaning. I’m slowly making progress throughout the house. Well, at least throughout the main floor. The path in the studio is wider and better defined. I’ve gained between 2-3 feet of horizontal space in the living room, and any day now I’ll have cleared enough out of the kitchen to be able to open the oven door without obstruction.

I tried a new way of tracking progress that seems to be working very well. I calculated that 100 hours of work came out to 6000 minutes, then I wrote the number 6000 on a whiteboard in the hall. Every time I do something, no matter how big or how small, I subtract the corresponding number of minutes from the total. Since the end of February I’ve got the number down to 5809. Even if I can’t see progress in the house around me, I can see progress in those little purple numbers on the wall, and that’s enough. It’s amazing how rewarding it can be to erase the old number and write up the new one.

Some days it’s the small victories that matter the most.

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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