Thursday, July 30, 2009

Help Wanted: Cheerleading positions available

Uhm, so I really hesitated to post about this. Thought about the pros and cons for about a week. Then decided to go for it because the only thing keeping me from it is pride and fear. And if my daughter can be brave, so can I.


You may have noticed this button come and go from my sidebar.

I tried an experiment. It didn't work. So I revamped that blog to report and track my progress on the whole declutter, get organized thing I've been playing at for the past year or two or thirty.

I'm using Julie Morgenstern's book, Organizing from the Inside Out—which I love and is THE best book on organization that I've ever read. I first read it several years ago and followed her advice in a few areas of my house/life. Those are currently the only organized areas in my home. So I decided to go through it again—and this time, I'm not stopping until I'm done!

My Goodbye Clutter blog has a few basic categories:
  1. Talk the talk. This is where I discuss what I learn in various organizing books, my thoughts about organizing, the obstacles I encounter, my opinions, my fears, my dreams and wishes.

  2. Plan the Plan. This is where I plan what I want to do in each room of my home or area of my house. It will include info on function, needs, decor ideas, etc.

  3. Walk the Walk. Otherwise known as "implementation." Those posts will have before and/or after photos (and maybe some in betweens). I'll also talk about costs, efforts, daily accomplishments and other things that revolve around putting my plans in action.

  4. Dance the Dance. Here I will post my successes, finished projects, and how wonderful life is due to my efforts.

  5. Quotes. These are organizational quotes that I find in my research and love. I'll swap them out in the sidebar, but you can read all of them by clicking the "Quotes" button.

  6. 4Sale. As I declutter, I'll have things that I want to sell, rather than donate. I'll list them on this other site as I find them, which means you get first shot at them. Eventually, they'll be listed on KSL.com.

So I'm hoping you'll hop over to Goodbye Clutter and share your own ideas and experiences. And that you'll give me lots of support and cheerleading throughout the project.

Oh, and one more thing. There are prizes. Did I forget to mention that? Oh, yes! My followers get prizes because I'm just totally into prizes.

Proud Mama Moment

Sometimes your kids just make you so proud. There is nothing more heart-filling than seeing your children do hard stuff.




Go give her some love.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's more fun than this??

After naps and lunch today, Baby Shrek, Baby Burrito and I decided to go for an afternoon walk. We've been doing this for a bit, if it's not too hot. They love going around the block, stopping to smell all the flowers, pick up rocks, and point out every single car and truck we pass (they don't want me to experience the heartbreak of missing one).

Today we only made it halfway around the block when we encountered a sprinkler.

Baby Shrek threw himself into the water with wild abandon, running and jumping and giggling.


Baby Burrito was a little hesitant at first. He let me hold him and walk quickly through the little drops that hit the sidewalk. Then he tried the sidewalk by himself.


Eventually he was running face first into the full force of the water, right along with Shrek.


They had a blast. We played there for about 15 minutes, then they reluctantly agreed to come home. The conversation went like this—

Me: Let's go home now.

Shrek: No go home!

Me: It's time to go. Let's go.

Shrek: No go! (screamed at the top of his lungs with a fierce facial expression)

Me: Let's go home and get a popsicle!

Shrek: No pos-i-cul!!!

Me: Do you even know what a popsicle is?

Shrek: (Looks at me for a long moment) Yes pos-i-cul. Yes go home.

Baby Burrito (left) & Baby Shrek (right)


P.S. — Homemade popsicles are one of my secret family recipes but I'll share it here. Pour Dole Strawberry Mango juice into popsicle molds. Freeze overnight. Take out when grandkids come. Eat outside as they are very messy.




Now playing on my iPod: It's Raining Men by The Weather Girls

They're Eating Our Road

Admittedly, this may not be as fascinating to you as it is to me but on the off chance that you're as intrigued with how they do stuff as I am . . .

First they came by my house with this thing:
It chews up the road into little tiny pieces.

Then they scoop up the bigger of the little pieces in this:
It's not very effective, as most of the stuf they scoop up falls right back out. So they have a guy who hand shovels most of the rubble into the scoop.

Then the fancy dustpan comes by:
It has a rotating brush that sweeps what's left into that big front-loader dustpan. I need one of those for my kitchen floor.

Last, they dump it into the dump truck.

I don't know why they're doing this. They're chewing up the same places they chewed up last summer when they put in the pipe for the secondary water system. Maybe they have to do repairs or something.

Baby Shrek and Baby Burrito thought it was ultra-cool too. We were outside playing basketball when they trucks came. They stood there and watched the whole process for about 45 minutes.

Now playing on my iPod: Macho Man by the Village People
(they are so NOT)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Dreaded Garage

Julie says to take before and after pictures. Hah!

Okay, well, here's my garage as of 10:19 this morning:



In the garage are:
  • Things left over from last summer's yard sale
  • Seasonal stuff
  • Stuff I brought home from my parents house when they moved last year
  • A few pieces of furniture we no longer use
  • Junk
  • Trash
  • Etc.

I have a very long storage unit in my driveway where I keep books (from my publishing company). It also had some furniture in it that I don't want or need. I decided that the things in my garage that I wanted to keep, I'd move to the storage unit for now. Then put stuff in my garage that I want to sell or otherwise dispose of.

Then I started two piles alongside my storage unit. One marked "TRASH"—which is stuff I plan to send to the dump. The other marked "FREE/D.I."—which is stuff I'll be giving away and/or taking to Deseret Industries, as I get to it.

You're welcome to drive by and take whatever you want from those two piles. Some of it isn't too shabby, especially the D.I. pile. But it's still dusty and dirty, which is why it isn't already on its way to D.I. I need to clean it up first.


Today's accomplishment: I hired two neighbor boys to help me get started. We got all the storage bins and keepsakes and furniture that I'm keeping moved out into the storage unit and the furniture that I want to get rid of moved from the storage unit into the garage.

Want to find a treasure?

MAJOR DEJUNKING going on at my house this week!

If you know where I live and you're interested, I'll have two piles of stuff in my driveway. One marked "TRASH"—which is stuff I plan to send to the dump. The other marked "FREE/D.I."—which is stuff I'll be giving away and/or taking to Deseret Industries, as I get to it.

You're welcome to drive by and take whatever you want from those two piles. Some of it isn't too shabby, especially the D.I. pile.

If you don't know where I live but are close to Pleasant Grove, UT and want to check it out, e-mail me and I'll send you my address.

(No, David. There will be no books in these piles, but I will be having a garage sale and/or notification of books for sale later on.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where did this week go?


Really?

Have I really not blogged in a week?

How could that happen??



Oh, yeh. It's that mucking out thing.



Since my last post, I have:
  • Redrawn the office graph. I discovered I'd not only drawn the furniture to a larger scale than I did the room, but I'd also turned the room dimensions wrong-ways (putting the door and window on the wrong walls) so everything was all skeewampus.
  • Decided which furniture I'd move into the new office and where it would go.
  • Moved all the stuff that was in the small bedroom (soon to be new office) out. It had been used as a piano, baby, Urban Botanic, junk room.
  • Cleaned the room. Fortunately, I like the colors in there, so I did not have to paint the walls.
  • Gone back to the store for the storage bins (which were now on a better sale!) I got 4 colors, one for each kid. As I muck out, I throw their stuff in a bin and label it. Yay, me!
  • Moved the big office furniture upstairs to the new office. (Technically, DH did that one last night, but I supervised and pointed and said things like, "Put that there, slave boy.")
  • Packed the most pertinent files and stuff in boxes, then hired a neighbor boy to haul it all upstairs to my living room.
  • Got a new chair mat because the old one was mildewy and gave me a headache. (I cannot believe how much they charge for a piece of ugly plastic! For those prices, they ought to have pretty pictures on them.)
  • Got a 4 foot table. I had hoped to use one of the tables that I already had, but they were either too long or too wide for the space and I had to have a table.
  • Decided to compromise on the yard sale vs ebay vs donate to thrift store thing. More about that later.

Still to do before the end of the week:
  • Unpack the office stuff that's currently in my living room and put it away—computers, printers, files, office supplies, projects, planners, books, wall art, etc.
  • Hang some shelves.
  • Put in some hours on my research job.
  • Work on the policies, etc. for the new business venture that has precipitated all this dejunking and moving stuff about. (More details coming soon!)

Next week's project:

  • Rearrange everything that was in the downstairs office area so that it will hold lots of shelves and tables and bins and other stuff. All the things for my soon to be announced new business venture which I am very excited about.
  • Dejunk/clear out one of the downstairs bedrooms so it can hold all the overflow stuff that won't fit into the main office area downstairs.

Oh, and did I mention that I spent several hours on Sunday and a few more yesterday at the hospital?


That is my DH in the ER this past Sunday. He's had gallbladder attacks for years, but they had to become severe enough to debilitate him before he'd go do anything about it.

Yesterday he had more tests run. I went with him and can report he didn't cry, not even once. He is so brave and strong. Sometimes too brave and strong for his own good. Last night, after his tests and working all day, he moved furniture by himself. (Okay, that one almost caused a fight between us because I think he should ask someone to help him, but he won't. Men!)

But I am very grateful for his help and support. If you feel inclined, we wouldn't say no to a few prayers thrown his way. Hopefully they will find out what is wrong and fix it soon.




Now playing on my iPod: Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet
(my fav housecleaning song)

Had a VERY busy week


This mucking out thing?

It's a lot of work!

I've been crazy busy with organizing and with keeping on top of the normal daily routines, with a few extra zingers thrown in.


This past week, I have:

  • Redrawn the office graph. I discovered I'd not only drawn the furniture to a larger scale than I did the room, but I'd also turned the room dimensions wrong-ways (putting the door and window on the wrong walls) so everything was all skeewampus.
  • Decided which furniture I'd move into the new office and where it would go.
  • Moved all the stuff that was in the small bedroom (soon to be new office) out. It had been used as a piano, baby, Urban Botanic, junk room.
  • Cleaned the room. Fortunately, I like the colors in there, so I did not have to paint the walls.
  • Gone back to the store for the storage bins (which were now on a better sale!) I got 4 colors, one for each kid. As I muck out, I throw their stuff in a bin and label it. Yay, me!
  • Moved the big office furniture upstairs to the new office. (Technically, DH did that one last night, but I supervised and pointed and said things like, "Put that there, slave boy.")
  • Packed the most pertinent files and stuff in boxes, then hired a neighbor boy to haul it all upstairs to my living room.
  • Got a new chair mat because the old one was mildewy and gave me a headache. (I cannot believe how much they charge for a piece of ugly plastic! For those prices, they ought to have pretty pictures on them.)
  • Got a 4 foot table. I had hoped to use one of the tables that I already had, but they were either too long or too wide for the space and I had to have a table.

Still to do before the end of the week:
  • Unpack the office stuff that's currently in my living room and put it away—computers, printers, files, office supplies, projects, planners, books, wall art, etc.
  • Hang some shelves.
  • Put in some hours on my research job.
  • Work on the policies, etc. for the new business venture that has precipitated all this dejunking and moving stuff about. (More details coming soon!)

Next week's project:

  • Rearrange everything that was in the downstairs office area so that it will hold lots of shelves and tables and bins and other stuff. All the things for my soon to be announced new business venture which I am very excited about.
  • Dejunk/clear out one of the downstairs bedrooms so it can hold all the overflow stuff that won't fit into the main office area downstairs.

Oh, and did I mention that I spent several hours on Sunday and a few more yesterday at the hospital?


That is my DH in the ER this past Sunday. He's had gallbladder attacks for years, but they had to become severe enough to debilitate him before he'd go do anything about it.

Yesterday he had more tests run. I went with him and can report he didn't cry, not even once. He is so brave and strong. Sometimes too brave and strong for his own good. Last night, after his tests and working all day, he moved furniture by himself. (Okay, that one almost caused a fight between us because I think he should ask someone to help him, but he won't. Men!)

But I am very grateful for his help and support. If you feel inclined, we wouldn't say no to a few prayers thrown his way. Hopefully they will find out what is wrong and fix it soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shrinking Spaces


Today I measured the small bedroom upstairs—the one I'm turning into an office. Then I graphed it out on paper so I'd know the dimensions of the room. Did the same thing with various pieces of furniture. The idea behind this is it's a lot easier to move little pieces of paper around until I find a way for it to all fit, than to move the actual furniture.

I don't know what happened because it turned out all weird. Some of the furniture that I've had in that room before no longer fits. It's too big for the spot. So either the furniture grew or the room shrunk!

Whichever, I'm going to have to do it all over again because Baby Shrek drew all over my room map with markers (that I probably could have ignored) and then Baby Burrito spilled my Sobe all over it. I hung the map up in the shower to dry but I think it's hopeless. Oh well.

I also started sorting through the stuff that was in this room. In it's latest incarnation, it started as a music room for Megan's piano. Then I put my UB stuff in there. Then when grandbabies came along, I put their toys and a porta-crib in there. But around Christmas time, it sort of became a catch-all for junk.

Today's accomplishment: Sorted through about 1/3 of the junk in the room.

Just so it's clear how crazy I am. . .

I have to do some major mucking out (McKenna, that was the phrase I was trying to remember the other day when I asked you what they called clearing out a horse stall) and I have to do it really fast, for a really cool reason that I'll be announcing here in a few weeks.

I spent hours yesterday measuring some rooms and furniture and drawing both on graph paper so I can figure out how to arrange everything before I start moving it. I must have done the math wrong because the furniture is twice the size of the room. And then Baby Burrito spilled my Sobe all over the room map. And Baby Shrek colored on the map with markers. Good thing those guys are so cute!

But anyway. I've mentioned how hard it is for me to dejunk before. It's not so much that I'm emotionally attached to things. (Okay, sometimes it is, but that's a minor part of it.) It's the conversations in my head!

Example from this morning. I picked up a board game and started to put it in the D.I. box when the voices inside my head piped up:


Oooh. The kids loved this game. Wonder if one of them wants it. Maybe I should set it aside and ask them?

No, if they wanted it, they would have taken it already.

Maybe I should put it in a storage bin, in case they change their minds. Or maybe the grandbabies will love it when they get older.

[Go to Wal-Mart to get storage bins that are on sale. While there, I get some bananas, juice, and a couple of other things. Run a few other errands, since I'm already out. Get home. Realize I forgot to get the bins.]

I guess I should just send it to D.I. I can always buy a new copy of the game in 8 years, when the grandkids are old enough to play it.

[Move game toward D.I. box.]

Oh, wait. Maybe I won't be able to find this game in 8 years. It might be out of print by then. I wonder if it's still in print now...

[Go to the computer and google it]

Oh my heck! It's selling on Amazon for $60! I could use $60. I could REALLY use $60. Maybe some of these other games are worth something too.

[More googling.]

Holy crud, Batman! All these games are worth good money. One of them is on Amazon for over $100. I can't send these to D.I. I could sell all these games and maybe get enough money for new carpet.

[Measure the living room and hallway to get square footage. Google the price of carpet.]

Hmmm. I'll have to sell more than these games.

[Google a few more items to see what they're selling for.]

I wonder if DH would agree to spending whatever I make on new carpet. Or if he'd want to pay down the debt first. Debt, definitely debt. That's fine. I'm a grown-up. Debt is a good thing to pay down.

[Start to list the first game on ebay; get to the shipping part...]

Wait, how much does it weigh? How much will it cost to ship this game? I'd need a box.

[Go look for boxes.]

This game is an odd size. Where do I get a box this size?!? Doesn't it cost more to mail odd size boxes?

[Google boxes. Look up mailing prices on USPS and UPS.]

Crud. Boxes are expensive. Maybe I could find a box locally. Maybe I should sell the game before I get a box for it.

Oh, wait. I need the box, so I can weigh the package to figure out the shipping.

I have a headache. I need some chocolate. I'll deal with this tomorrow.

[Toss game back in the muck pile and go take a nap.]

Now playing on my iPod: Will It Go Round in Circles by Billy Preston

Friday, July 10, 2009

Top 10 Reasons an Empty Nest Rocks



10. I get to go to bed whenever I want.

9. I can go play with my girlfriends at the drop of a hat.

8. DH and I can smooch without hearing gagging noises.

7. I only have to run my own errands.

6. There’s always enough hot water for my shower.

5. Everything stays exactly where I put it.

4. I don’t have to share my sugar-free treats.

3. The buttons on my car radio are set to the stations I like.

2. No more American Idol or Hannah Montana!!!

and the #1 reason an Empty Nest rocks. . .

1. I never again have to hear, “What’s for dinner?”


Now playing on my iPod: Old Time Rock & Roll by Bob Seger

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Top 10 Reasons an Empty Nest Stinks


10. The back of my hair looks like bedhead and I sometimes get caught wearing mismatched clothing in public.

9. I have to watch Lost and Grey’s alone.

8. There’s no one around to guilt me into making dinner.

7. Puzzles just aren’t quite as fun as they used to be.

6. I’m out of luck when I want new stuff on my iPod.

5. It’s absolutely impossible to check your own ears for ear wax.

4. I have to run my own errands.

3. Car dancing all by yourself is just lame.

2. I can no longer pretend I’m reading a YA novel to “check its appropriateness for my children.”

and the #1 reason an Empty Nest stinks. . .

1. There’s no one else to blame for my messy house.


Now playing on my iPod: Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks

Friday, July 03, 2009

Techno Geek I am not


Oh! I am soooo frustrated right now!

I'm trying to get all the SNORT prizes ready to go and I'm hung up on the Pigs in Love CD. I designed this loverly color label and my color printer was out of ink. Of course, it was!

So I go down to Office Max and trade my right arm for new ink cartridges (have to have TWO—black and color—for my printer). I come home and install them.

And blam! The printer explodes.

Well, not really. But it won't work. The cartridges slam from one side of the carrier to the other with g-force velocity. And it won't print.

So I think, okay. DH can probably fix this as soon as he gets home from running errands today. I'll just get the CDs ready and burned.

Uhmmm, well, I can't figure out how to do that. I'd planned to buy the songs from iTunes and burn them to a CD so it's all perfectly legal. And.

Somebody?

Anybody?

HELP!

Now playing on my iPod: Ha! Did you really think my iPod was working?


Update—6.26 p.m.
Thanks to my dear friend SANDRA, I have purchased the music and burned the Pigs in Love CDs. (What would I do without her?!?)

I still haven't fixed the stupid printer problem. DH did "fix" it but the new ink is just as light as the older stuff. So now I'm thinking I gave up an arm for nothing and it's not the ink, but the way my Mac talks to my printer.

And my new Virtual PC won't recognize the color printer. Again. Ahrrrgh!

Now playing on my iPod: the Pigs In Love CD!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Final Snort Winners!


Thanks to everyone who dropped by in June to play on my blog. You made it lots of fun and kept my brain from exploding due to wedding details. (And yes, there will be more pictures, but the bride and groom get to post them first.)

All prizes will be shipped or delivered next week. If you've won a contest, but haven't chosen your prize box yet, click on over and pick one out. If you haven't chosen a box by next week, I'll pick one for you. (If I don't get the prizes out soon, I'll forget about them and then who knows how long it will take for me to remember.) (Sorry, Suan. I'm working on it. Honest.)


So, the Final Snort Contest winners are. . .



All of you, go HERE and pick your prize. If two (or more) pick the same box, the one with the earliest dated post or email gets it. I'll select another prize for the others. And if you haven't already sent me your address, send it HERE .


Now playing on my iPod: Nothing because Kendall is in the middle of fixing it for me.

Not Lonely Anymore Winner! (SNORT)


Thanks for signing up to be my new BFFs!

And the winner is. . .


Nicole, go HERE and pick your prize.

SNORT/Pigs in Love THEME Song Winner!


The THEME song for our SNORT/Pigs in Love CD is:

Everything by Michael Bublé

Which is one I added at the last minute because it's one of my favs and I couldn't believe I'd forgotten to put it on the list.

But I can't give myself a prize. Duh.

So. . .



Theme Song runner-up is:
I'll Be by Edwin McCain

suggested by:

Kandis!

Kandis wins the third copy of the Pigs in Love CD!

And the winner of the Vote for the Theme Song random drawing is:



Taffy, go HERE and pick your prize.

[I'm late for work. Remaining prize winners in the SNORT contests posted later today.]

SNORT That Bee Winner!


What did my mom put on DH's bee sting?

Baking Soda and Water Paste!

Although I know all the other things I listed will also help.


Four of you guessed correctly, and the randomly chosen winner from the smarties is. . .




The randomly selected winner from everyone else is. . .

Sandra!


Suan and Sandra, go HERE and pick your prize.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Mapping Out the Big Picture

So here are the basic maps showing what I want to do to my space. Most of them are labeled with what I want them to be, not what they currently are. (Exception—the snake pit in the backyard; I want to cement that over and put in another shed.)

As I post about each individual room, I'll go into more detail, but for now this is the overview. (Click on images for bigger pictures.)

UPSTAIRS

Most of the "big furniture" has been moved into place. Some of the things that need to be done upstairs include new flooring in the living room, hall, main bath, kitchen and great room. I may also need to repaint those areas. Right now my walls are a golden yellow and I love them, but it's getting hard for me to see so I think I need to change to a more reflective off-white or cream color in those rooms. The main bath also needs a new paint job.

In the kitchen, I want to paint the cabinets, completely reorganize what's in those cabinets, and possibly get a new fridge. The old one is over 12 years old and making noises, doesn't keep things as cold as it used to, and the ice maker/crusher broke.

I'd really love to put a bookcase with lower cabinets in the Great Room and a flat screen TV over the fireplace. (Doesn't need to be big, just flat.) If possible, new furniture, like a sectional or something so that more of our family can gather in that part of the room.

Eventually, I want a different table in the kitchen, but don't know what yet.

The living room, bedrooms, office and baths need some basic reorganization and a few smaller things but they won't be too much work.



DOWNSTAIRS
The downstairs needs MAJOR work. I need to convert it into a business, production, shipping area that will allow me to ship books, as well as the product from the new business venture that I can't yet announce to the world.

The two small rooms on the left side were once used as bedrooms. I want to convert the top left to an extra storage space for my UB supplies. The bottom left I'd like to make into a guest room with twin bed (or day bed) and a creative craft room for me, where I can work on my scrapbooking and jewelry projects, etc.

The top middle area used to be my old office. On the right is a nice desk and hutch that won't fit anywhere else. I'm leaving it in place and that's where I'll mix up my CustomScentsOnline orders. The remainder of the space is where I'll put up some tables and shelving for my new venture, for order processing, storage, etc.

The shipping area needs to be slightly revamped to make it more usable. It's not too bad as it is, except I've just shoved stuff in there lately as a temporary holding area while I clear out the other rooms.

Oh, and the hot water heater down there needs to be replaced. It's on its last leg.

The Atomic Dog Room and the Bomb Shelter I won't even deal with at the moment. EVERYTHING else on my list has to be done before I will even think of tackling them!




FRONT YARD
This image is mostly pie in the sky wishing. When I lived in Orem, one of my favorite times of the day was early morning in the spring and summer when I'd go outside and play in my flower garden. This was so soothing and it revitalized me. I miss that. So. . .

The Rose Garden is currently a ginormous overgrown lilac bush and a bunch of weeds. I love roses and I'd love to have a small, nicely contained grouping of rose bushes there, in various colors and varieties.

The Bush/Strawberry/Lilac area to the right of the porch is dirt and grass, with nothing setting it apart from the rest of the lawn. Right up next to the house it's mostly dirt and very thin grass because it doesn't get a lot of water or sunlight. I'd like to put in a smaller, controlled lilac bush there at the edge of the house—or some other pretty and fragrant bush that can tolerate some shade. Then along the front, some curbing or brick/rock edging to create a flower bed there and plant a variety of bushes and shade tolerating strawberries or other ground cover.

The Flower Garden in the front used to be exactly that, but no more. It has some sprinklers and a rock back wall but it has nothing in the front to keep the grass from overtaking it. We still have a few tulips and daffodils that bravely come up in the spring, but there are fewer each year. It's mostly grass now. I want to raise the bed a tad, put in a rock front or curbing and plant colorful annuals in there.

The Mail/Flowers area is all gross weeds. All the neighborhood dogs think it's "their" territory. Double ugh. I'd like to either put in annuals or a thick layer of bark so the animals will stay out of the dirt.

The Porch to the left of the small concrete porch/sidewalk area is falling apart. Seriously, it's a safety hazard. It's wood, splintering, and rotted in the center area. It needs to be taken down and completely rebuilt. Also, the cats crawl under there and use it as their litter box. Ugh! I'd love to go vinyl with that, or something that will last a little better than wood.

The fence on the right side is wood and in need of major repair. I'd love to go vinyl. We'll see.

Other repairs muchly needed are screens on the windows (or maybe new energy efficient windows). One of the cats thinks screens are intended as claw sharpeners. I'd also like some light along the sidewalk that leads to the door because it's really hard for me to see in the dark. I'd like a new front door with a peep hole and dead bolt and chain lock. (No, I am not paranoid, just practical.)

Oh, and a roof. Yes, we very much need a new roof before winter.



BACK YARD
Have you seen pictures of the white-trash ghettos? No? Well, come take a peek in my backyard.

Actually, no don't. Just trust me when I say it is bad. I'm thinking about six trips to the dump. Maybe more.

The lawn needs to be leveled. It slopes down to the back right corner. The grass is in bad shape because we have three cats, a dog and a wild racoon that roam around back there. Plus, I really think all the neighborhood animals come to our house to party. I mean, really, there's no way our animals could poop THAT much.

We have a stretch of concrete that goes partway back. There's a shed there where DH keeps a lot of stuff. I never even go look in there. I'd like to extend that back to the fence and put in a second shed—one for smelly things like lawn mowers and snow blowers, etc. and one to store things like Christmas decorations and DH's drum set.

I'd also like to fix the two garden areas—the one along the back fence and the square foot grow box area in the back right. Right now they're used as a weed garden and cat box.

And I'd like to put in a little play area for the grandbabies—swing set, slide, playhouse or something.

Lastly, I'd like to put in a gate—our fence got knocked down when a tree fell on it a couple of years ago. We put the fence back up but not the gate. Oh, and a dog run so all the dog doo is contained in one area and not spread out all over the lawn.

I think that's the major portion of it. Ought to be, huh?

Note: Our tiny budget for repairs and fix-up won't cover everything, but I figure if I have a big picture in mind, I can do it a bit at a time. I'm guessing it will take a few years to do what I want, especially to the front and back yards.