A Picture Reveals . . .

I recently took a photo of the back of the house from the bottom of the yard.

The back of the house from a spot near the shed.

I thought it was a beautiful shot.

The blue metal table stays outside year-round.

Unfortunately as I looked more closely I saw all the clutter we store back there.  I don’t like the propane grill up by the steps.  It needs a cleaning and a new tank of propane.  Also a doable project which I would like to assign to Charlie, our Grillmaster.

Clean chairs are ready for use.

In some cases the clutter just needs to be rearranged.  For instance I can move the round table away from the house and surround it with the chairs we just cleaned.

The oil tank at the back of the house needs to be painted the house color.

Other items are more bothersome like the partially-painted oil tank.  Some day I hope to mask it but for now just painting it would be an improvement. Last night I pulled out my paint sprayer to get it ready to do just that tomorrow morning.

Our Honda mower had been a good purchase and now it is sold.

The red ride-on lawnmower has been sold on Craigslist.  Listed in the morning gone by evening. That’s really the easy way to declutter.

We have a trash can, a recycling bin, and 2 other cans that aren’t used. They must go.

One eyesore that I haven’t yet figured out is the trash and recycle cans.  I would like to build a structure for their storage that is both understated and utile.  My research has not yet revealed the perfect design nor am I convinced behind the house is optimum.

Some of these items are beings trashed and the garden tools will get organized.

Another bothersome area is under the steps.  Charlie keeps his garden tools there especially during summer.  It’s a jumble and I feel it encourages rodents and snakes to live near the house. YUK!  Perhaps I can resettle these items in Charlie’s greenhouse.  I guess he just needs me to work out a system of organization.  I’ll put it on my research project list.

The corner near the steps could have a some decorative plants.

Finally I’d like to plant something in the corner by the steps.

Do your little clean-ups take on enormous proportions?

Newly Painted

When the tenant moved in the walls of the Cottage were “Siamese Eyes”, a pretty aqua blue Martha Stewart paint.

“Siamese Eyes” is the wall color in the Cottage.

The color and the brand are no longer made.

A new kitchen, new windows, etc., etc.

But everything else has been spruced up in the Cottage and so a new coat of paint was in order.

Paint chip of “Siamese Eyes”.

The tenant took a paint chip from the wall and had it color-matched.

The new color is on the top half of the photo.

The new color is a close match and actually better than the original.  It’s just a little greyer.

What room do you want to repaint?

Blooming Hydrangeas

One month ago I noted the hydrangeas were still growing.

End of May, 2017
End of June, 2017.

Nikko Blue hydrangeas are so welcome for a number of reasons.

A stunning bright blue.
  1.  They look great in the house as a cut flower.

    Hydrangeas almost arrange themselves.
  2. They seem to be bug free.
  3. After the blue fades they becomes burnished burgundy and green.

    The same blue hydrangea as it changes color at the end of summer.
  4. When dried they hold the color they were when cut.
  5. They flourish in the shade.
One day this hedge will fill in and and be a billow of blue.

I’m working on a hydrangea hedge.

What weed is your nemesis?

A Day’s Worth of Paint

All the exterior trim was painted on the Cottage after the new doors, windows, and over-door gable were installed.

The newly painted Cottage.
“Siding in a Can” by Duron has been a good product for us but is no longer available.

I knew the next step would be painting the exterior shingles.

The grey patch in the middle is the new color.

I had more than half of a five-gallon bucket of “Siding in a Can” in Glamour Gray which I gave to the Cottage tenant who started painting the front of the Cottage.

I painted the areas eye-level and below.

I joined her helping to paint the remaining 3 walls.

The window trim pops nicely against the light grey shingles.

I like that the light color grey (which looks almost white but contrasts subtly with the whiter trim) of the Cottage co-ordinates with my darker grey (Sandy Hook Grey) house but has a personality of its own.

After — Newly painted

Next task: paint the interior.

What’s your next paint project?

It Didn’t Rain

I was planning to paint but the forecast predicted rain.

The formerly messy corner in my bedroom.
Look! A place to sit and put on my shoes.

I stayed in and cleaned up some of my clothes.

Only the shingles remain to be painted.

My friend in the Cottage tried to get some painting in before the rain.

Loving the fresh paint.

She primed and painted all the exterior trim and the blue/grey panels on the front of the Cottage.

This shutter decorates the side of the Cottage.

The exterior shutter is painted and ready to rehang after the shingles are painted.

What incentive do encourages you to get started finish a project?

99 Degree Days and a Cool Down

My plans for a dull weekend last weekend all but fell through. The bat hike was all booked up and it was too hot to get involved in any kind of rehab at the house so nothing was accomplished.

Charlie waters the garden when we have dry days in a row.

That was last week.  This week we are in the mid 80s and trying to get back on track.

Sunflowers at the end of May.
Middle of June sunflowers seem to be growing inches per day.

The plants in the vegetable garden, the olive trees, and the sunflowers are not complaining, however, they are pressing up to the sky. In the top sunflower photo the plants were only up to the top of the olive tree pot.  Now they’re taller than the tree.

This is our first year for purple beans which I believe turn green when they’re cooked.

Charlie is harvesting some stunning deep purple string beans.

SunGold tomatoes produce about a dozen per stalk.

Even the SunGold tomatoes are starting to produce little green balls that will soon turn orange and be ready to tempt us.

A handful of sugar snap peas makes a great raw snack.

We’ve been enjoying sugar snap peas by the handful and just tried a couple of the first cucumbers.

What’s in your salad?

Summer Curtain Update

I suggested we look for new Cottage curtains before repainting the interior of the Cottage.

The curtains have been hanging in the Cottage since 2011.

Since she plans to paint the interior with a color similar to the current “Siamese Eyes” I suggested she look for curtains first then match the paint to the new curtains.

My proposal was these all linen curtains.

We headed off to Ikea with a paint chip scraped from the wall.

The blue paint chip does not go with the blue linen curtains although the curtains are a beautiful color.

Unfortunately the chip was not compatible with the blue linen curtain.

Velvet curtains are the right color but the wrong fabric.

There was a cotton velvet curtain that matched perfectly but we didn’t like the heaviness of the velvet.

Aina linen curtains.

I also saw a part linen part, viscose curtain at Country Curtains in the right color but the price was decidedly not right –even on sale, 3 times the price of the Ikea linen curtains.

These curtains will also look good in the Cottage.

So in the end we bought 3 pairs of Ikea linen curtains in the same creamy white as the ones in my living room.

Does color challenge you?