Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Very Productive Weekend

This weekend Rob and I were so busy. We did so much hard labor that I went to bed at 9:30 Sunday night and I'm still sore today. In addition to keeping up with our usual cooking, cleaning, and cat-parenting chores, we also managed to finish three major home-improvement projects.

The first thing we did on Saturday morning was paint a couple of dirty, discolored doors (living room and front bedroom). It was quite a satisfying endeavor. The doors are nice heavy old things, and we painted them a clean snowy white. Since our cats enjoy getting paint on their paws and running around on the furniture, they spent the day in the Little House (the old detached kitchen). They weren't too thrilled with this arrangement, and there were at least a dozen attempts at escape. I think the only cat who didn't try to escape was Leroy, who is tubby and sweet and very lazy. There's this dumb bathmat he likes back there, and his hobby is placidly sitting on it.

The front-bedroom door, freshly painted. We hope to paint the whole room (golden yellow) in a couple of weeks.

Leroy, content in the Little House. I mean, he was content until I offended him with my camera.

Carl pouting

Probably the most important work we did was pressure-washing the house, a project we started on Saturday afternoon. Well, we didn't really pressure-wash the house. We just sprayed it with this solution called Jomax (mixed with some bleach), and the mold and mildew came off "like magic," as Rob so joyfully declared. I should add that it was a particularly exhausting, drenching sort of magic, one that left us achy, wet, and reeking of Clorox.

The house, all clean and shiny. Those are woodland sunflowers in the foreground.

The last major project we tackled was mowing the woods behind the backyard. (We did this on Sunday.) Mowing back there is always a big job because our poor woods are choked with invasive nandina and ardisia. I’m serious, these plant pests form a wall-to-wall carpet of horror under the trees, and the only way we can control them at all is to mow them down periodically. I hope someday, if we keep mowing them, we’ll finally wear them out, but right now that shows no sign of happening. Both the nandina and the ardisia are still annoyingly healthy and robust.

I was on the riding mower on Sunday, and I must admit I was thoroughly enjoying running them down. I became a bit careless in my enthusiasm. I’m usually a very cautious person, but I was taking real chances that day, mowing wildly over rough terrain. I ended up stuck in a hole, stuck up on a stump, then stuck between two trees. If my sisters had seen me, they would have laughed, because I'm famous for being kind of a terrible driver.

The woods after mowing. Around each tree, there's an island of invasives I still need to pull by hand or take down with the weedeater. And yes, this picture does embarrass me.


  1. You my dear Leslie have nothing to be embarrassed over.

    Your lovely home inspires me as does the work you two do on it and the way you decorate it.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  2. Is your house T-1-11 planking or concrete faux siding. I would be interested to know since we also have the dreaded mildew/mold problem.

  3. Fantastic photos, beautiful cat:) Greetings

  4. Oh I love the new door color! It looks awesome. Heck, I am in love with that whole room! Gorgeous. Your cats are too cute - such adorable photos. You guys really got a lot done over the weekend!

  5. Our woods had a lot of downed tree branches and our invasive plant (garlic mustard) The woods was mowed just yesterday. I plant wildflower seed in the fall after the first frost...the flowers come up and bloom sometimes in the first year. We only maintain the front 10 ft. The back is owned by our power plant....they are the ones who did the mowing.
    Love your house...I came by way of Lorraine...Flower Lady and enjoyed my first visit.

  6. Hi Dawn, thanks so much for visiting! The house is wood--it's an old house, built in 1850.

  7. Looks like a wonderfully productive weekend! Your post reminds me I need to paint the back-side of my craft room door..... That stinks that you got stuck on the riding lawnmower - I always worry about that in the weedy areas of our property too. I love the cats. LOVE the cats - they are too precious.

  8. What a busy weekend. Both your door and home look sparkling clean. After a long rainy summer our homes really do need a good cleaning. It's hard work but well worth the feeling of accomplishment when everything looks good again. That bedroom looks like such a relaxing and peaceful place. Can't wait to see it in a sunny yellow color.

    I've always heard that nandina is invasive. I have quite a few planted in my yard but only get a stray plant every once in awhile. Hhmmm, I wonder why I don't see it growing in the wild in my area. I definitely don't like planting invasive species but I really do like the nandinas. Have a great weekend!

  9. I have to say that the "after" pictures are gorgeous! All that work, but oh so worth it.