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Subterranean Progress

This past weekend was filled with accomplishments. I guess it’s the silver lining to the Austerity Plan – when we stay home on weekends we get things done around the house.

Friday night was the Bowman’s Rest canton meeting at our place. That was great fun. There were nine of us in the living room for the meeting, everyone had a decent chair, and while the room was full, it wasn’t uncomfortably packed. It was SO NICE to be able to do that. This is part of why I wanted a house so badly. The only fly in the ointment was that Anarra and Ana Ilevna ended up with a flat tire on the way out. We don’t know if they picked something up in our driveway or on the way over and it went flat sitting in the driveway. I wouldn’t think it was in our driveway because we’re fairly obsessive about stuff like that, but who knows? They left the car with us and AAA took care of it the next morning. They also cleaned us out of wood ash. I gather they’re going to make soap later in the year, so they took all of the ashes that I had. We’ve got a bit left in the woodstove, but not much. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to generate some in the fall before the snow comes. But I digress. It was great fun, and I hope to be able to host again. We also discovered that we can park four cars in the driveway without anyone being parked in. Pretty neat.

Saturday was basement cleaning. All day, with occasional breaks to feed the baby. It was a nasty, grey, rainy, muggy day, so it was actually a decent day to spend in the basement. We moved some furniture around, Bob went through a bunch of boxes (and threw a bunch of stuff away,) I moved the speakers around, and last thing I tackled the disaster on/under the work bench. I didn’t quite get that done, but we got a very respectable distance on it before we called it a night. I created a large mound of stuff for the Salvation Army.

It should tell you how bad that basement was when I say that it never hit that stage where it gets worse before it gets better.

Sunday began in the garden, even though I didn’t really feel like it for some reason. But the weekend before my mom had delivered a bunch of hostas from her yard, and minimally I needed to get them into the ground before they died. That meant that I needed to weed out at least part of the garden bed they were intended for. So I got out the garden fork and started ripping out weeds and day lilies. I have so many thousands of day lilies that unless they’re going to someone specific just then, it just doesn’t make sense to try to transplant them. So I cleaned out the front edge of that bed and got the hostas planted. They’ll look nice there. I’m actually toying with the idea of getting a couple other varieties and just making that section solid hostas. Maybe a birdbath in the middle or something. Hmm. This could work. After the hostas went in, I decided to take a crack at moving the daffodils. They were in the back of the house where I never see them, and mostly in sections that are destined to No Longer Be Garden, so I figured I’d move them to the front of the house where I’ll be able to see them as I drive in and out. Assuming that they survive. I transplant in a survival of the fittest fashion. Turns out I had five times as many daffodils as I thought I did, so that turned out to be a bigger chore than anticipated. But I got it done, and they’ve been planted along the side of a decorative rock "wall," so I know where they are. I didn’t get around to moving the astilbes, but I figure I’ll poke away at that over the course of the week since I want to be a little more careful with them. Those are going to move to out front because they’ll tolerate the shade. Right now they’re in another spot destined to No Longer Be Garden. There’s a lot of that going on. I was delighted at how much easier it is to dig the day lilies with the garden fork than it is with a shovel – I’m doing much less damage, so now I’ll be able to pull more of them in good shape for people. One co-worker and my massage therapist have asked for some. They’ll be sorry. I’m going to bring them day lilies until they beg me to stop...

My lilies of the valley are blooming. They’re tiny, and pink.

After all the plants I was going to move had been moved, I decided to do some pruning. I was moderately drastic with the forsythia – it was starting to grab territory. After that I went in to cut the deadwood out of the hydrangea, and found that a startling amount of it was actually dead. That’s all tidied up and I cut the forsythia back even farther from it. I strolled over to check the pine tree, because I try to keep it cut back from the deck, and that’s when I discovered the robin’s nest. It’s a shame that they moved in when Charlotte is too young to watch it with me. Hopefully there will be future opportunities.

After the gardening was done, the potentially tick-infested clothing had been changed, and the baby had been fed, it was back down in the basement for us. I was able to open up the Bilco door for light and air, but it still kind of sucked to be down in the basement on a beautiful day. Regardless, it was another really productive afternoon. Instead of one side of the basement being an inaccessible jumble of various camping equipment, tools, hardware, painting supplies, and boxes of assorted stuff from various projects, I now have:

  • A stack of organized and labeled tubs with the camping gear stacked against the wall;
  • A series of boxes on the work bench with items separated by category: hand tools, power tool components, hardware, plumbing supplies, electrical supplies, insulating supplies, and cans/bottles;
  • A section with all the power tools in one place, in their cases if they have one;
  • An alarmingly large stack of paint cans between the chest freezer and the oil tank;
  • A lot of open floor.

It’s far from done, but now I’ll be able to go down there and find a box of finish nails (for example) with a minimum amount of rummaging. To be complete, I dug out the last section of floor so that now you can walk a full circle around the chimney stack again. I am very, very pleased. The next big tasks are going to be (1) to hang a piece of 4’x8’ pegboard so that I can put away the stuff in those boxes (hang up all the saws, for example. Why do we have three mitre saws?,) and label/shelve the cases and cases of bottles in the brewing section. MY next goal, regardless of Bob’s priorities, is to get those bottles handled over the next couple of weeks. That will make a huge visual difference, and at this point in the process I’m all about the visual difference. It’s what provides the incentive to keep plugging away at it.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m really psyched.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
I'll take day lilies anytime you'd like to drop some off.
May. 12th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
Cool! Depending on how things go next Tuesday, I might drop off a bag on my way home from the chiropractor next Wednesday. Do you still have the tree in your front yard?
May. 12th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, we still have our tree in front. It's blooming beautifully this week, so the petals should be coming down next week. We're #85.

May. 12th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
Congratulations. I still just have a very long tunnel. And my husband's method of dealing with the boxes in the basement is to take one, start going through the contents incredibly throuroughly, and if he's lucky, he'll find a book so he'll start reading it.

Three hours later he's thrown out 2 pieces of paper, and the box is even more unpacked and jumbled than when he started.

Come to think about it, that's his method for tidying up anything, anywhere in the house.

I win the lottery, and I'm moving out by myself. He and the girls can come visit. But they can't move in until they get the old place picked up.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )