Finding a Spot for Things

I’ve been thinking about getting a full-time job again, so I’ve had a kick in the pants to deal with those nagging last few boxes that are hanging out downstairs.  Please keep in mind that these pictures are very much “in progress.”  Just thought I’d share the glories of unpacking.

books on chest

This (above) was my first attempt at creative book shelving.  It’s great until winter, when we might need to access the quilts and blankets in the cedar chest.

shelf over window

Then I realized that the shelves above several of our windows weren’t really connected to anything (and needed to come down anyway).  They’re already cut and painted, and we have a giant stack of bricks in the woods.  What can you do with boards and bricks?  Something like this:

brick bookcase

That is what I call free and awesome.

more books

And last but not least, I turned what used to be a sweater storage spot into some extra book space.  It still needs some adjustment, but I like where it’s headed.  With that final tweak, every book in our house has a spot on a shelf, and there aren’t even any double-stacked shelves.  Victory.

The tools and cleaning supplies and kitchen still need some storage work, but at least a few categories are totally taken care of.  Now I can submit job applications with one less house project on my mind.

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Lazy Day Projects

I’ve been up to a lot of laziness lately, but I’ve also found time in that busy schedule to finish a few small projects.  I’m very happy with them, so I thought I would share.

Project 1: making business cards and stamping note cards with my new fancy schmancy shop logo.  (Thanks to PaperSushi, which is the Etsy shop that created my shop logo stamp.)

Project 2: putting the finishing touches on a file cabinet that friends gave to me during their move.  I will admit that I heartlessly cut apart a giant map of Narnia that my parents recently gave to me.  It had been on the wall of my brother’s room when we were little, and he didn’t have any particular desire to keep it.  So presto, I took two hand-me-downs and turned them into a bedside table/storage area that I really love.  The map colors go perfectly with the room, even though you can’t exactly see that in the picture.  Here, take a look.

And Scott finished a project, too.  We’ve had a gaping hole in our bedroom ceiling since before Scott moved in last year.  It was totally my fault.  I wanted to put a ceiling fan up where a light used to be, but I didn’t have any skills to make that happen.  The wiring was old, and it was a tricky task.  But I came home on Sunday night, and there was a fan almost entirely assembled and connected to the ceiling.  Woohoo!

Part of me wants to just sit in there with the fan on all day and enjoy the perfect room temperature and air circulation.  But don’t worry, I’m working on bigger projects and staying out of the bedroom for most of the day.

To Do

I recently painted an unused door with chalkboard paint and have been using it primarily as a list spot.  I’m starting to regret that particular use of the space.  Here are a few of the things  posted on it for my day off tomorrow:

  • buy work pants that actually fit
  • buy lawn mower and edger
  • use lawn mower and edger
  • paint upstairs ceiling
  • clean house
  • grocery shopping
  • replace lettuce plants
  • run
  • ironing
  • dry cleaner’s
  • thank you notes
  • mail b-day present to J
  • friend date at 6

Can you see how getting those things done in 14 hours might be problematic?  Maybe it isn’t critical that I replace my lettuce plants.  And I’ve made it for the last year without work pants that fit, what’s another week?

Here’s the list of things I expect to get done tomorrow:

  • buy lawn mower and edger
  • look at upstairs ceiling while thinking about painting it
  • minimal grocery shopping (milk and cereal)
  • run
  • friend date at 6

You don’t need an entire door-sized chalkboard to write that down, now do you?!

Easter with the ‘Rents

I thought I was good at getting things done until my parents came to visit me this weekend.  They put my productivity to shame and sneaked in a nap, too.  My beds and mattresses are in different rooms than they were on Friday, my front yard contains totally different plants than it did on Saturday morning, and those are just the big projects that we finished.

The grand garden plan was downgraded, but I’m fine with that.  If I manage to keep things alive this year, it’ll be easier to build onto next year instead of creating a large garden from scratch.  Now I’ve got herbs galore and a few flowers and tomato plants.  The thyme is my favorite so far.  I’m trying to avoid getting attached to the plants until they’ve proven that they’ll live for at least a couple of weeks, so I’ll include pictures after the “don’t get attached” period is over.

Also, my docile motorless lawnmower sent a stick shooting towards my leg on Saturday afternoon.  No big deal really, except that the stick stuck directly into my ankle.  I’m a bit of a wuss, so I’ll say that it hurt a lot.  I actually had to remove the stick from my ankle.  Yuck.  The good news is that I have a fairly decent puncture wound now.  That’s kind of fun.  I know it doesn’t sound fun, but as I’m sitting at my desk all day, surrounded by air-conditioning and books,  it’s good to have a token that says, “I was outside this weekend!”  I’m perfectly willing to accept that in the form of suntan or small wounds from gardening ventures.

There’s a lot of non-gardening stuff going on in life as well.  We’ll pretend for a second that I’m one of those super vague people who doesn’t ever share details.  If that were the case, I would say that I’ve learned a lot lately.  That’s good, right?  It’s kind of like a college class.  You’d rather skip the experience and grab coffee with a friend, but sometimes there’s no replacement for being in class.  I’m glad I’m not skipping so much of life that I’ve stopped learning things.

Social Hibernation via Projects

You know how the guys in Stepbrothers get all excited about bunking their beds so there will be more room for activities?  I get that excited about projects.  If bunking the beds in my house would influence that at all, I’d be looking for extra two-by-fours right now.

Sometimes I get into productive mode and a day turns into a sort of mini-hibernation where all that really matters is getting a million things done.  (I guess real hibernation involves lots of sleeping, so we’ll just ignore that.  My hibernation involves projects and cleaning.  It’s social hibernation.)  Fortunately, a full night’s sleep resets me to Normal Hannah instead of OCD Get Things Done Hannah.

Yesterday was one of those days.  I woke up, rifled through about 12 gardening books, then decided after an hour that I’d just wait to buy plants when my parents are in town for Easter.  Why stress about researching plants when my mom already knows exactly what grows well in this climate?!  Problem solved and on to cookbooks, where I found some recipes for upcoming cooking needs, made a mile-long grocery list, and walked away.  You can imagine approximately 18 books strewn around my living room.  The dog was getting nervous.  There’s no telling what piles of unattended books will do.

That was project number one.  Semi-successful.  Then I moved on to mowing the “lawn” for the first time in 2010.  It’s not really a lawn, since 90% of the green in it isn’t supposed to be there in the first place.  At least the weeds are healthy.  I decided that I like the clover best because of its general fluffiness.  I mowed it ruthlessly anyway and am proud to say that my weeds are now all a uniform height.  No more giant clumps of wild onions that you can see from a block away.

You can guess how things continued.  There was some sweeping, some sorting, some Windex.  It was good.  And to top it all off, I cooked sea scallops and snow peas for dinner.  Mmm.

So that’s a day in the life of Productive Hannah.  Now it’s back to semi-laziness for a while.  Peanut likes it when I’m lazy.  He doesn’t have to show the books who’s boss, and there’s more time to hang out on the couch together.  Now that I think of it, I kind of like the couch, too.