Friday, August 5, 2016

Work in Progress - House Projects

We've been really busy alternating between working really hard on house projects (and life in general) and then resting and recuperating from all that hard work. Add in swimming lessons, soccer practices, church stuff, and Russell getting a job out of the house and things have been crazy around here. I thought I'd share the progress of some of our summer projects to 1. Feel some sense of accomplishment on projects that are taking way longer than anticipated, and 2. Get some accountability on finishing them. 

Garden Fence

Our garden has been surrounded with chicken wire since we got our dog. We've gone through various layouts of the garden over the years, but these beds with wooden paths have been working pretty well. It hasn't been a great year for actual growing in the garden - my RA was acting up in the spring and we didn't get a lot planted. But I thought I'd work on making the garden look more charming and official.

The plan is to put a couple gates and arbors. As with everything, this has turned out to be a lot more difficult in practice than it was in theory. The summer heat is very demotivating. It's turned into a job that I just go out and work on for a couple hours in the evening every once in a while.

Using 2x4's and my kreg pocket hole jig. Slow work.

Gwen came out the other day while I was working on it and said "It's cute mom, but I don't think that it's gonna keep out anything with those big holes." Haha. Planning on filling those in with chicken wire. Jonas says we need a fence to keep out the bugs. Good luck with that one.

Hoping to finish this one in the next week or two. Phew!!

Laundry Room Folding Table

The laundry room has long been a wreck. I've never really gotten my feet under me since having Tess, then getting RA. This room was the one hit hardest. There was piles of junk, tools, dog food bags, etc. The kids and I cleared all that out and then I made a plan for a table that would hopefully make the room functional.

Tess lives to unfold laundry. In a blink of an eye she can wreak havoc on an hours worth of folding. Combine that with my aching back from bending over laundry baskets and you've got a recipe for Russell doing the laundry, and our bedroom being full of baskets of unfolded laundry. This table is great because it's got enough room to fold and sort, out of reach of chubby little fingers.

We bought the counter top from Ikea and built the base out of wood recovered from the brooder box we made for the chickens when they were growing.

Painted blue with leftover paint from our cabinets upstairs. Oh man, I love this table. So awesome! The plan from here is to paint the floor, get a new rug, hang pictures, hem curtains, and get or make a new ironing board cover. 

Clearing Out Old Stuff

Tess is going to be turning two in September and we're officially done having kids. Do you know what that means?!?! I get to clean out all this stuff from my storage room. I cannot even begin to tell you how good it felt to get rid of these things. The baby phase is a really hard time for me. It's a huge relief to say goodbye to all this stuff.

Jonas and Tess played with it all one last time. Jonas was surprisingly attached to this play toy. haha. Good memories for him I guess.

Master Bathroom

This is in what you could call the research and development phase. The counter in here is awful. It's stained laminate that never gets clean. It has permanent water marks and weird linen-y detail. We're not to the point where we're ready to replace with granite counter tops, although that's in our future down the road. For now I'm going to throw caution to the wind and try painting. Playing with the idea of a wood accent wall too. We shall see...

Plum Jam

Russell's parents have a very successful plum tree that is old and epic. We picked bags there the other day and yesterday I spent hours cutting the pits out. Mind-numbing work.

I thought it was ironic how the juice from the plums turned my fingers into prunes. ha! Proof that I was cutting for way too long.

Today I took the plunge and canned 40 jars of plum jam.  Aw, what a beautiful sight. There's nothing quite as satisfying as a counter full home-canned jars. I'm thinking these might make good neighbor gifts for Christmas. Green ribbon and a quick card and we're ready baby! I'm determined to make Christmas more laid back this year, and this may help.


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