Friday, January 22, 2010

Things to do.

Nell Jean mentioned my to-do list yesterday in a comment on her blog. I removed mine a few months ago. It was turning into after thoughts rather than an actual to-do list. So now I have a list of intentions. These are ideas that have occurred to me while in the yard or looking back at photos from the past season. I still have a long list of things that I want to complete, but I've been keeping that in my head rather than in bits and bytes.

The kitchen. I need to finish painting. All the beadboard and trim needs a couple coats of glossy white paint. The countertops need to be installed and laminated. Everything needs a thorough cleaning once that's done. I need to choose hardware and install that too. I haven't found anything that jumps out at me yet.

The oak tree.
I've still got a lot of wood that needs to be cut and split. If I don't use it all this winter, I'll have it for next year. Two more trees are on the list to be cut down for longer sun exposure in the backyard. Both are elms. They produce thousands of tiny seedlings each spring and summer. I may not get to them this year.

The bathroom. A water leak sprang up behind the toilet just before we replaced all the supply lines this summer. It ruined the baseboard and buckled a couple of the peel and stick tiles I used on the floor. I need to replace all of that. A doorknob needs to be installed on the door. A small area of peeling paint and plaster on the ceiling needs to be filled, sanded, and painted. I'll probably repaint the entire ceiling as I want to add the 2" border of white around the top of the room like I have in all the others.

The hallway. Paint and doors. I don't have the new doors. I have the paint. I'll get to it eventually.

The front steps. The bricks are cracked. The mortar is chipped and missing in between many of the bricks. Settling over the years has produced some ugly crevices where spiders and other creepy things live. I've got an idea that includes using small stones from the property to cover the vertical parts of the steps. I'm not sure when or how to go about doing this just yet. I need to rebuild the roof first. The wood is rotting. Long ago, someone covered it with vinyl and metal to hide the problem. That only made it worse. I really hope I can get to that this summer.

The front walk. It slopes towards the stairs that lead from the driveway to the front door. When it's raining or (rarely) icy, it can be a real hazard. I want to level this area when I rebuild the steps from the driveway. I have ideas, just need to get lots of concrete and lumber for the forms. I should start investing in broken bags soon. I figure I need about 50 80lb bags. I'm probably way off. It will take twice as much as usual.

The arbor, fence, and swing.
These all need to be painted soon. Winter or early spring is best for painting since the vegetation that I'm growing on or near them are dormant or have disappeared for the season. I'm still thinking about colors.

Raised beds. One of the raised beds needs rebar drilled and hammered into place. I keep thinking I'll do it tomorrow. Then it rains. The wood is hard to drill when wet. I have to get it done soon. I also need a couple loads of composted manure from Jamie's horses at work. If it ever stops raining for a week, I'll get that done.

I want to move the vitex. It's going to need a lot more room than I gave it. It will be moved to the area just behind the swing, in front of the dead oak tree. I've got a lot of ivy and periwinkle to remove from that space first. Maybe I'll work on that next week if it doesn't rain. Other plants that need to be moved include the althea growing along the backside of the perennial bed. I'm not sure where they'll go, but I no longer want them as the backdrop to my flowers. The camellias there are returning nicely after being hacked to the ground a couple years ago. I want to uproot some of the nandinas that are growing in the wild space behind the house. These will go into the front bed along the sidewalk. They'll be the understory planting for the Japanese Maple that is growing very slowly. Gardenias and tea olives are already in place. One of the gardenias will be moved about 3' from it's current location. I need to find a spot for the 6 rooted cuttings in the hoophouse too. Maybe I'll put them along the back of the house. The idea of a patio back there is still appealing. I'm waiting until some of my shrubs get some size to them for the final decision. It might be years.

Shrubs. I really want to add some small evergreen shrubs to the perennial bed. I have a few wigela in there now. They disappear in the winter since they are deciduous. I'm still toying with the varieties. I need things that stay somewhat small and compact without a massive root system. The only evergreen in there now is a tiny leatherleaf mahonia I found in the gully last spring. I know of at least two others I could put there. I'll be on the lookout for things to take cuttings of this summer. I want to add winter interest.

Grasses. I also need grasses for the perennial bed. I'll divide a couple of things I already have in another month or two. I've got to make room for the wintersown perennials too.

Trees. This fall, I marked some maples that had nice coloring in the wild. The tallest one is around 4'. They'll go into the hole created by the dead oak tree on the other side of the gully. I've already moved the magnolia and planted a sweet gum. I can see the pink tape on the tiny trees I want to move. Soon. They need to be in place before they leaf out.

The North Bed. I planted some hardy ferns and hosta last year. I've got wintersown containers with shade plants that should be germinating in the next couple of months. I've been scattering wood ashes all winter to deter slugs and snails. I hope it works. The wood ashes also raise the pH of the soil. Maybe I can get something to grow besides moss on that side of the house this year.

The dining room window.
Below the window, there's a camellia, a couple of nandinas, two gardenias, and an aucuba shrub. They need to be fertilized this spring. It just takes time.

Yes. That's a long list of things I want to do this year and beyond. Some are more important than others. I'll get to them all in their own time. I suppose when I finally get everything just the way I want it, I'll have to sell the house. Laura wrote me the other day and mentioned that I'm running out of land. She's right. I should have bought a larger yard. I wonder if the nice neighbors behind the wild would enjoy some flowers along their side of the woods. I know they want brugmansias already. I should start some datura seeds for them soon too.

It's 37 degrees and still drizzly. I've just about finished my first cup of coffee. I have all intentions of working in the kitchen today, but that may change once I get up and get moving. There's just so much to do. I'm still in my pajamas.

11:52am - Two cups of coffee down. I've put some paint on a small area of the kitchen where I don't have to clean off countertops or do much masking. I like it. I'm glad I kept the green, just toned down with a bit of gray to get rid of the yellow. Pepsi bottles are best for wintersowing. Coke changed theirs and the sides are no longer straight.

Going to try to finish the beadboard under the cabinets at the stove today too. I may not do more than that. I need to bring firewood into the basement to dry.

1:33pm - I'm going to call it a day in the kitchen. I don't want to stay inside all day. I managed to get two coats on everything I did today. Need a third coat on the bare wood items. Maybe next week. I have three days off in a row. I also put a coat on the old door that will someday be replaced. I just couldn't stand it any longer.


Jimmy said...

knowing'll knock this list off in three days (or less).

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

LOL Jim. I was thinking 2 days, but I'll push it to three for you. Thanks. ;)

Darla said...

That's an impressive list, I just came in from trying to re-do my pathway through my full sun garden...Do share what shrubs you come up with that meet your criteria...

gld said...

That's an impressive and ambitious list! I am happy that you are restoring that charming house along with the gardens.

I chose antiqued pewter knobs and those half shell pulls for my country style cabinets in 2004 and am still liking them a lot.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

I will Darla. I wish I could be outside today, but it's just too wet.

Glenda, I'm leaning towards the same thing. I like the pull style handles for the drawers. For the cabinets, I'm still not sure. Part of me wants stainless rods, but I suspect it will be too modern for the style of the kitchen.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Wow, what a list. You are young, ambitious, energetic, and it will be interesting to see how much of that you accomplish this year. You've done a lot already with your house and gardens.

Enjoy the work, and each project as it is completed. The work is part of your daily journey and from what we've seen you do so far, I think you will do well.


L. D. said...

As a former teacher, I was getting some of the summer off, and I would go back to work irritated that I didn't get done all that I wanted to do. So the last 10 years before I retired, I made lists. I also included the things that were fun to do on that list, but the list kept me on target. I still find the old list in desks where I have stuffed them and they are quite humorous. I can see my priorities were on the work, and I can see where I had crossed off the old projects of the past. They are helpful. I know the work things on your lists are probably fun for you, like working on things were fun for me. Your wainscoting painted white looks fantastic and the wall with green is a good color.

Fun House said...

I couldn't even read it all much less attempt to start or ponder all of that. I'm taking two valium and a few beers.

Unknown said...

I'll agree with the woof part for starters. After that, might I suggest that you start working on your PhD in the evening.....after all, it seems as though you have such a short list to accomplish this year!