Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meg vs. The Garage: shelves, workbench, and junk!

Wednesday:  Put up new shelves in the garage, put work bench in place.

I am kind of (a lot) embarrassed to post this, but this is what our garage looked like this morning:

Serious. Part of the problem with moving multiple times without much time to organize is that we ended up with a whole bunch of what I call "BOJ" (boxes of junk). Random stuff thrown in boxes. And we have a dozen or more of them, all piled on top of each other, mingled with other random stuff that we don't use really often. It was overwhelming to go out there.

My mom got us these lovely shelves when she was last here, so I determined to put them to use at last.

She also gave us the work bench that my uncle made for my grandpa once-upon-a-time, and it has been sitting at the end of our garage for months going unused. And we have a perfect spot for it, right under the window looking out at the back yard.

My plan was to make space for one shelf, put it up, then put enough junk on it to make space for the next shelf, and repeat the process until the big things were more or less where I wanted them. I realize junk on a shelf is still junk, but it looks more manageable.

Here is my progress after nap time:

You can actually see [a small part of] the floor! So invigorating. And here it is at the end of the night.

I even have my project I had planned for tomorrow laid out. Only one small catch; I realized that the design I had in mind isn't going to work, and that buying the necessary equipment isn't going to be worth it. I am going to reconfigure, and a friend of ours is going to help me with the cutting when it's all figured out. So this one is getting transferred to the list for next week, and I am changing tomorrow's goal. I can do that, because it's Leap Day =).

Thursday:  Clean out at least 3 BOJ's in the garage.

By the end of the week, our garage might actually be functional! Imagine that!

Meg vs. The Bathroom: re-caulking

TuesdayClean and caulk around the master tub/shower.

Recently I noticed that this was happening around our shower:

See that crack around the top edge? Prime place for moisture to enter the walls and start a lovely mold problem, especially because the fan is currently non-operational. Yikes! I am surprised and also not at all surprised that I didn't notice it sooner =).

The temporary fix is easy enough, if a little messy. I scrubbed around the shower and scraped off the old caulking, then re-applied silicone caulk around the edge.


And here's a quick tip from my uncle for anyone new to caulking like I am: if you don't finish off the tube, pop a nail or screw in the end. The caulk will seal around it and keep the contents from drying up.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meg vs. The Kitchen: A Clean Fridge

MondayClean out the fridge.

Sorry, no pictures today. My back-up camera needs new batteries, and my regular camera's charger is still MIA. But I'm sure you won't lament too much not seeing the inside of my fridge. Let's just celebrate that whatever brown, sticky liquid had spilled and then encrusted itself all over the shelves is no longer there.

Also, I kind of got roped into switching our little Family Night with a couple of guests to a big group gathering of 20-30 people. So I've got to clean more than just the fridge today! I'm glad I mustered up the will to tackle the fridge (and my arch nemesis, the dishes) first thing in the morning. Go me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goal Review & New Goals

Time to report!

Here are this week's goals:

February 20-25
Monday:  Put the bed together in Ethan's room.

Tuesday:  Paint the hall closet.

Wednesday:  Trim bushes in the front yard. Start cutting up the giant branch I hacked down on a whim.

Thursday:  Re-pot fruit trees left by the previous owners.

Friday:  Put shelves back in the hall closet, put things away inside.

Saturday:   Buy plywood for the missing panel in the garage, nail it up. Buy a ladder.

I am so excited that I did all my goals this week! Admittedly they were not really challenging things, but I succeeded in making them enough of a priority to get them done. Special thanks to my wonderful husband who did things like clean the whole kitchen and tie a sheet of plywood to the top of our car.

And now, next week's goals!

February 27-March 3
Monday:  Clean out the fridge.

Tuesday:  Clean and caulk around the master tub/shower.

Wednesday:  Put up new shelves in the garage, put work bench in place.

Thursday:  Put up molding shelves in the living room.

Friday:  Sort through boxes of randomness in the garage.

Saturday:  Sweep off the roof, clean gutters, look at potentially leaky spots.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meg vs. The Garage: the missing panel

Saturday:   Buy plywood for the missing panel in the garage, nail it up. Buy a ladder.



We actually bought the plywood and a ladder last night, so this should have been a super easy thing to check off. But (and there's always a but) I forgot to account in my measurements for the change in ceiling height and the fact that the other two panels were not quite straight. So I ended up hacking away at the thing with our dinky reciprocating saw until I was able to shove it haphazardly into place (sort of). Hubby had to intervene and kick me out of the garage at one point because I was getting pretty angry. Then later as I was trying to finish nailing it in, Mr. 3-year-old decided to come join in "going bang bang bang," but ended up taking a dive off the side of the garage steps and getting a splinter in his forehead and a few good scratches on his torso. Poor guy; he was so excited to help!

But in the end it is done, and I will put some stuff in front of it and ignore what a terrible job I did. Hey, I finished all the goals for the week! I will celebrate by never looking at this picture of my terrible paneling job again =).

Friday, February 24, 2012

Meg vs. The Closet: Finito!

FridayPut shelves back in the hall closet, put things away inside.

The hall closet is finally done! I almost feel like we have actually moved into the house now.

Here is the before, with the shelves taken out:

I just realized that this picture is upside-down, but it looks the same either way.

And here it is now:

The cute contact paper was a gift from my mom, who has been my super-cheerleader (and partial funder!) in my projects. I filled the closet with all my craft/sewing/stationery/wrapping stuff, all of which had been stuffed in our bedroom closet. Now John can open our closet door without worrying that a roll of wrapping paper will fall out on him (and they did, all the time! He was constantly cursing their existence. I can buy wrapping paper on clearance with a clear conscience now!).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Update - Meg vs. The Closet

TuesdayPaint the hall closet.

I threw on the last coat this evening before the boys went to bed (bad idea; they were whining at me the whole time!) so that I could do my goal for tomorrow, which was putting the closet back together. I figured I had no excuse not to do it, since today's other project was pretty quick and easy. AND I didn't mess up the kitchen. It helped that we were really only home for naps and dinner (leftovers). =)

Meg vs. The Yard: Potting Trees

ThursdayRe-pot fruit trees left by the previous owners.

We noticed three baby citrus trees--a meyer lemon, a naval orange, and a mexican lime--in our yard when we were doing our walk-through of this house, and assumed the owners would take them. But apparently they came with the house! We have always wanted fruit trees, but weren't sure if we were going to bother with this house since there are so many other things needing our attention. But since we had them, we decided to pot them for now to give us time and flexibility to move them around as we do the rest of the yard. I bought the pots and soil months ago but haven't taken the 30 minutes to go out and put them in. The guy at Home Depot said that a pot twice the size of the original container should be sufficient for a couple of years' growth. And these trees are barely twigs, so I think they have plenty of room for now.

Before:  Can you tell a little one was playing with my camera?


Definitely worth 1/2 an hour during nap time. Who knows if they'll get big enough to fruit before we leave this place, but at least they have room to try!

Meg vs. The Yard: Bush Trimming

WednesdayTrim bushes in the front yard. Start cutting up the giant branch I hacked down on a whim.

These fellows were getting a bit too big for their britches, er, planters.

 So I went to work with my trusty new loppers. I have no clue as to how I am supposed to trim a hedge, but if they survive my gardening, we'll know they were meant to stay. Mostly I wanted to get them at least 6 inches away from the house and low enough that our house number was visible again.


 I did a little weeding around the bottom as well, but didn't have the time or energy to deal with those rowdy rose bushes just yet.

On to the tree! I can't stand this tree by the garage. I dubbed it the poo-berry tree. It drops pollen and little berries all over the roof and driveway, and it is pulling up the fence. I would like to get the whole thing removed, but I'll have to talk to the neighbor first, since it sits right on the line between our properties. John was kind of protective of the tree (he is oddly fond of all the plants in the yard--takes after his dad, the lover of all living things), until the tree dropped its poo-berries on the car and damaged the paint. Then John announced that I could cut down whatever branches I like. The next day I went out with a pole saw and went at the giant branch hanging over our driveway until it was vanquished. Then I realized it would take me approximately 17 years to cut that branch up with a handsaw, and it has sat in the driveway like this for a few weeks.

By the time I finished the bushes, our green waste bin looked like this:

But I wanted to keep with my goal, so I started hacking off the smaller branches on top, and did as much as I could reasonably do. My mom bought us a chainsaw while she was here recently, so I'll recruit the Mr. to help me cut it up the rest of the way so we can dispose of it/burn it later.

And there was a bonus for finishing today's goal! I had let all but one of my beautiful Valentine's Day tulips go the way of all the earth.

Now I have something to grace my dining room table!

I ended up taking the afternoon off because of a freak accident involving my foot and a surprisingly sharp Matchbox car. We watched Curious George and ate cheesy puffs, then had hot dogs and corn for dinner. In the evening I had a stomachache and dozed off on the couch, and my wonderful hubby cleaned the whole kitchen for me (it was pretty bad, given my afternoon vacation added to the general neglect). Even with a foot injury, a pretty good day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meg vs. The Closet: Painting

Tuesday:  Paint the hall closet.

I won't cross this one out because it's not all the way done, but I did do one coat! The boys' naps didn't overlap and the evening passed too quickly, so I'll have to double up tomorrow to get the second coat up (the walls were really yellow and gross previously--I don't think they had ever been painted! If it's anything like the front closet, it will take primer + 2 coats to get it white). There isn't really much to see, but I'll post a picture when the closet is completely finished, shelves and all.

We also managed to go for a walk, roll around on the floor, and sing and dance along with Bingo Radio on Pandora (pretty much a daily event). I kept up on the dishes until dinner, but the sink is full again. I'll have to drag myself out there to do them again before I call it a night. For a snack we had these zucchini chips,

and for dinner we had turkey meatloaf (with grated carrot mixed in, shhhh!) and mashed potatoes (with cauliflower mixed in). Of course the little Mr. Picky didn't eat either, and opted for rolls only. But hubby and big brother dug in, and the goal was to continue cooking, since I'm trying not to sacrifice my family in the name of home improvement. T'would be ironic, wouldn't it?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meg vs. the Kids' Room: New Beds!

MondayPut the bed together in the boys' room.

Hubs had the day off, so this morning I made these cinnamon rolls, but with cream cheese frosting.

For dinner I made this rosemary bread (our new favorite!),

and porotos granados (clearly this one is actually my picture because it is terrible. But they taste much better than they look).

Then, just in time to start family night, my good husband helped me put the finishing touches on the beds!

We really only needed one twin bed for Mr. 3-year-old, but since my niece and nephew will be moving close soon and since we figure we'll need more beds eventually, we just went ahead and ordered the whole set. One gazillion screws and a sore arm later, ta-da! We still have a long way to go before the room actually feels very personal, but a place to sleep is a start. Clifford the Big Red Dog already made himself
cozy along with Thomas and Friends.

Now if I go do the dishes before I crash exhaustedly into bed, I'll have done everything I set out to do today. I think I need to cool it on the ambition tomorrow, because the boys were pretty attention-starved by the end of the day, and my patience was wearing thin with all the whining. We spent a good hour just playing with them after we were done, and they were much more chipper by bedtime.

One day down, the rest of my life to go.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Meg vs. Myself: time for goals!

This week I have been inspired by a couple of friends of mine who started a new blog to keep themselves accountable and sharing their creations at

It has been a while since I started this blog, and I have actually been pretty consistent about doing something around the house every day, but it's time to really commit to getting done what needs to be done around here. I feel like I was good at being disciplined in school or sports or church assignments or activities, but now that I am home most of the time, I haven't been good at carrying that over. It is too easy to procrastinate when I don't have a deadline.

So I have decided that I need to threaten myself with public humiliation (well, public meaning the 5 people who read this blog, two of them being my husband and myself) by posting weekly goals for my work on the house. Theoretically, I should complete this task and keep the kitchen clean and the rest of the house decent (i.e. I wouldn't be humiliated if, say, my in-laws showed up unexpectedly. Right now I would be humiliated), and maybe even make a decent dinner. I am also hoping to post a daily picture of my progress. We shall see how I do.

On to the goals for this week:

February 20-25
Monday:  Put the bed together in the boys' room.

Tuesday:  Paint the hall closet.

Wednesday:  Trim bushes in the front yard. Start cutting up the giant branch I hacked down on a whim.

Thursday:  Re-pot fruit trees left by the previous owners.

Friday:  Put shelves back in the hall closet, put things away inside.

Saturday:   Buy plywood for the missing panel in the garage, nail it up. Buy a ladder.

I think I'll give myself permission to switch days if I feel like doing a different project on a given day. For now I'll be pleased if I at least start the project, even if I don't finish it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Meg vs. the Living Room: Painting Update

I realized that I never posted a picture of the finished living room! Surprisingly, the green was well-covered after one coat. Totally worth the extra money for the Behr 2-in-1 paint primer stuff. We are really pleased with the results.

Sadly, there are tons of cracks that need addressing because the previous owners did a terrible patch job, so we'll be doing lots of touching up, but for now at least I can start decorating with our new color scheme. More pictures to come!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Meg vs. the Kitchen: Pinterest humor

When I first joined Pinterest, I made and pinned this:

Suddenly this week it is going viral. My inbox is full of notifications from Pinterest about this pin.

Sadly, this still doesn't happen on too many days.

p.s. if you like this, feel free to print it, share it, etc. etc. etc.