My to-do list has a to-do list!

Alternate title: “Cool weather craziness!”

 Despite spending some 29 years of my life in So. Central Texas (including the past 26+), I have not been able to develop a fondness (or much tolerance) for the very hot, amazingly humid summer weather this region offers! When the thermometer climbs to 95 degrees or higher during the day and refuses to drop below 79 degrees at night, and the humidity seems to get stuck in the 63%-99% range, my batteries run down very quickly.  Since “summer” seems to reign supreme for most of the local calendar year, this is . . . .a bit of a problem – LOL!  Sure, there is air conditioning in the stores I visit, but each errand takes me out into the heat and then back to a super-heated car. If I have lots of errands to run, they are usually close enough together so that the car never truly cools off between stops. Yes, Casa Blackburn is air conditioned, but running the unit at a setting which would truly make me comfortable (when I’m physically active) would cause an insane leap in the electric bill ! The thermostat is set at “liveable if I don’t move too fast”, instead.

Well, the weather cooled down nicely a few weeks ago – around mid-October. Lovely, temperate days and nights just chilly enough for a light blanket. Ah, bliss! Ah, new-found drive and energy! Ahhhh – – -well, I went a little bit batty, truth be told!  I bought dozens of pansy starts and performed the physical contortions  necessary to plant them in a neat array in my raised flower bed. The sun was shining down on me, rather than mercilessly beating down on me – a wonderful and welcome change. (Note to self: never, ever, crouch down for extended periods of time while wearing the leg braces! They aren’t designed to support that activity; they’re barely designed to allow it! Ouch.)  That’s OK – the magic of colorful, cheerful pansy-faces glowing in my garden when the frosts have relegated all other colorful outdoor plants to my greenhouse for the winter will be worth it!

With pansies watered into place, my newly-recaptured energy turned itself to the kitchen. The pressed-board shelf under the double sink had sagged severely and was crying for replacement with the plywood which should have been installed by the contractor in the first place!  Off to the home improvement store with DH for the necessary supplies.  Unfortunately, this signaled a busy Satuday for him, as I no longer “do” power saws (rheumatoid arthritis and wierdly shaped, wonky hands have made that a chancy enterprise).  He sawed, trimmed and fought the new cabinet floor into place ……the original shelf obviously went in before the cabinet facings were attached, (Thanks, Hon!) and  I sorted ‘ancient & discard’ from ‘useable’, put in shelf-liner, and it looks great!  (Casa Blackburn is 21 years old. I think some of the cleaning supplies and small plant pots unearthed from the very back of the cabinet were probably placed there when the house was very young!)

The weather was still delightfully temperate, and my “Do Something!” energy then fixed itself upon our pantry/laundry room.  It needed a thorough cleaning. It needed to have all dangerous cleansers & compounds removed to a locked area, as a safety precaution for our grand-daughter when she starts crawling (forward, that is – she’s already great at crawling backwards!) and exploring. Like the cabinet, the contents needed to be sorted and culled. New shelf liner was over-due. I know – it needs repainting! Yep, I dove in – sand paper, paint brush, step-stool and all. The kitchen counters disappeared from view under an ever-changing variety of canned, boxed and canistered food stuffs, as I worked my way down the seven shelves and the wall space around them. (For those with antenna that just quivered at the word *step-stool*. . . . .well, never mind – most of my readers expressed their concern/exasperation at the time the crime was being committed. (VBG)    The pantry side looks great!  Even the underside of the lowest shelf (perhaps 15 inches above the floor) is freshly painted!

One-third of the job remains to be done.  That part requires moving the washer & dryer, and removing countless vases and candlesticks from the shelves above them. I was going to do that part as soon as at least a majority of my muscles, joints and tendons had forgiven me for even starting this project. Then. . . . . . .it got hot again!  Foolish girl – that was a cold front, not the onset of a cool and comfortable Fall! I will get it done; later, rather than sooner, because I’ve stubbornly decided that I want to do as much of this project on my own as I possibly can.  (DH painted the top of the top shelf and the wall area above and around it – standing tip-toe on the step-stool just didn’t get me there!)

While paint dried in the pantry, I tackled the ledge of the kitchen greenhouse window. With some help on the heavy-duty sanding (21+ years of overwatering plants had taken a toll on the paint finish), it is now a smooth, satin finish antique white surface. Of course, it looked so nice that I had to trim all of the plants and clean the shelves of the greenhouse!

Meanwhile, I dropped by the home improvement store again and brought home a new bathroom tissue dispenser. A gold-toned dispenser.  Yes, I know our master bath has chrome fixtures, but I really liked the way this  looked!  Well, DH liked it, too – thought we should probably replace the two towel racks in gold-tone, and the faucet fixtures at some point.. Do you think you see a pattern developing here? You’re right, but I went totally “batty” again; the new fixtures will look so good that it will really make the aged paint look bad, right?  Paint chips magically appeared (hehe!), affixed to the wall; I had visions of “Hunter Green” or “Merlot”. I began to have  visions of two large, oval-framed mirrrors to replace the long run of mirror presently in place. Welllll. . . . I got a dose of “sticker shock” – large, somewhat ornate framed mirrors are selling for $149. – $169. each! NO! I found two attractive rectangular, backless frames at Hobby Lobby & we shall cut the present mirror to fit- – -with some luck, that is.

1- Finish painting pantry/laundry room.

2- Carefully remove  “monster mirror” and cut into two 30″ long sections. Install sections in frames.

3- Paint master bath “Merlot”

4- Paint long upstairs wall (the “Rogue’s Gallery” wall) and its five doors Juniper Green. (Hehe – this has been on my list for months!)

Meanwhile, I had unearthed the crocheted Christmas tree skirt I had started mumblemorethanayearagomumble for DD and SIL (dear daughter & son-in-law) and begun crocheting several more of the panels needed for it. All eight panels are completed now, and joined together; seven different birds (they are both birders) have been cross-stitched, one per panel. Add:

5- Crochet the border & cross-stitch the names on the tree skirt soon!

While working on the tree skirt, it occured to me that my grand-daughter needed a made-by-Grandmeow Christmas stocking. Pattern acquired and design choice made with her Mama. Add:

6- Crochet & cross-stitch Miss Sara’s Christmas stocking.

DS (dear son) has been waiting quite patiently for me to hem his new slacks. MUST do that soon! Add:

7- Measure and hem work slacks for DS.

The recent sanding/filling/painting activity made the long-dormant decorator in me begin to plot & scheme. You know, the living-room would have more “punch” with an accent wall! Yep – hopefully I’ll get it done before Christmas – add:

8- Paint front window wall in living room…….a lighter value of the “Merlot”, I think.

It has been in the mid-to-high 80’s since the cold front passed through – ugh!  The forecast is 89 degrees as a high and . . . . . .72 degrees as the high for Thursday!  Maybe i will accomplish some of the above-listed To Do projects. Then again, I just may tackle:

9- Reshape the roof of my El Mercado miniature display (so that the dome is actually resting on the base, rather than hanging from the roof edges!)

10- FINALLY apply myself to the perplexing problem of how to provide electrical connections to removeable walls in my new barrister’s book-shelf! So far, this one has me stumped!!

To Do lists are “a GOOD thing” – – -I’m retired, and I haven’t watched a single soap opera or “daytime drama” yet!!

Sorry for the long and rambling road – that’s what happens when I don’t “talk” for awhile!! LOL

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