Monthly preview: March

I’m so out of sorts this weekend. I completely forgot to set some goals for myself this month. In my defense, I did work two extra days this week, and I’m on antibiotics for the second time this year. What’s even worse is the fact that my allergies are killing me for the fourth time this year. Seriously, the antibiotics were for the sinus pressure and sore throat; now I just can’t stop sneezing. I’m going to blame the mold I encountered in a rick of firewood yesterday at work.

So, for March, I’d like to accomplish a few things.

  • Self-care. As I mentioned, I’m sick. Again. Already. And I re-injured my hip yesterday, tripping over a cross-tie at work. I’m also just feeling mentally and emotionally frazzled: lack of major progress on the house, Sunshine has been spending lots of time out of town, I just had a belly-button birthday, I’m closing in on my clean date (13 years, who would have believed it 13 years ago?), and my old shoulder/neck injuries are rearing their ugly heads (likely from the Pilates exercises I’ve been doing)
  • I’d like to see some lower numbers on the scales when I go to the doctor again in April. I’m eating healthier and exercising, and it’s going to be disheartening if I don’t lose at least a pound or two.
  • Continue stash busting. I still have a fucking tonne of yarn that doesn’t have any specific purpose. It doesn’t help that I’ve added yarn to the stash, even though I have specific projects in mind for it.
  • Make a wish list of things I want the boss to hunt down for me. I’ve got some specific canning projects in mind, and I’m going to need things we can’t grow or can’t produce enough of at this stage of our development as a community
  • Purge things we don’t want, need, or use. I really don’t want to move a bunch of shit when we move into the house.
  • Archery. It seems we might be having an early spring. I would like to get outside with Sunshine and shoot some shit with bow & arrow. Archery is also a sport, so it counts as exercise, right?
  • Start learning some seriously eco-friendly ways to clean stuffs and things. House cleaning, hygiene, all of it. We’re looking into two-stage composting and incinerating septic systems; our grey water will be a separate system and I want to reduce the environmental impact of our cleanliness routines.
  • Start planting seeds. I bought eco-friendly starter pots so I can plant things now and transplant the sprouts when the time comes
  • Get the community’s input on fruit and nut trees to try and grow.
  • Get a nutcracker for hard shelled nuts. We have hickory trees, those nuts are good and they’re good for you. Since I seem to be the one responsible for preserving all non-meat foods, I need an easier way to do it than making a mess with a hammer.

It’s an ambitious list, and it doesn’t even start to touch on all of the little projects I have in mind for the house. I refuse to plan any projects for the house, as things have seemingly stalled out while we put together the next chunk of cash to bankroll the next phase.

Now, I’m off to enjoy Sunshine’s company while I can, since he heads out of town again this afternoon.

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February: month in review

Time to see how I did meeting my goals for the month.

* Use up some of my yarn stash. Check. I have made some pillows and a cleaning kit for the new house. I’ve also been making a fucktonne of dishcloths from acrylic yarn (great yarn for scrubbing) and washcloths from cotton yarn (great yarn for use against the skin); the boss encouraged me to make small impulse-purchase type items to consign with him when we finish the expansion of the shop. I have not picked a pattern for the last of the nice squishy yarns the secret Santa gifted me; I also haven’t chosen the pattern for all the yarn my niece gave me. I still think I’ve achieved this goal (well, mostly, anyway), because there is room in my yarn storage chest for new yarn! Which is good, since I’ve already bought some for a rug, and I have some yarn on the way. (Adjusts halo on top of horns)

* cut up some of Mr B’s brush pile into firewood. Total fail. Oh well, we’re all going to have to get on that soon because we probably will need it before spring sets in to stay; therefore, I’m not going to let it bother me that I haven’t gotten to this one yet.

* pick the tile for the shower walls and for the floors throughout the house. Check and check. No pics yet of the floor tile because it’s still in boxes.

* get Biff to tile the bathroom so we can get the toilet out of the living room. Done, just not by Biff. Sunshine did the tile, Biff helped. It hasn’t been grouted. The toilet is out of the living room, because we can’t use it; the septic systems we are looking at require ultra low flush toilets (one pint flush). Sunshine’s oldest son flips houses, and he’s going to take the toilet off our hands.

* Finalize plans for the bathroom vanity that Rude Ass is going to build. Definitely accomplished that one.

* Finalize plans for the platform bed with storage that Rude Ass is going to build. Fail, but I’m ok with that. I showed him ideas, so he’s stewing in it.

* Find a dresser or chest of drawers to refinish for our closet. I might repurpose the entertainment center in the RV for the closet in the house, I haven’t decided yet. I will be looking around at options when I’m out and about.

* start the great purge. I’ve started it. A bag of clothes went into my truck for donation, then I got cold at work and raided it. Now I have a bag of clothes for emergencies and a bag for donations riding around in my truck with me. So that’s a partial fail, I guess. Fuck it, there’s still plenty of time to purge.

* figure out a plan to cover the bare cinder block walls inside the closet. Sort of done. We have some poster sized prints of Sunshine (done as promotional materials for a business idea that imploded when we moved), and a couple of those would certainly cover some square footage. I’m also toying with different “mixed media art installation” ideas (involving lots of bright colors) for my side.

* get everyone’s input on fruit & nut trees to plant. Complete fail. I’d have better luck herding fucking cats than getting any kind of consensus out of the entire community. Im not going to beat myself up over this #fail because herding cats is herding cats.

Additional accomplishments:

* We started a new compost heap. The oldest one will be used for our spring garden. The next oldest will be our fall garden compost. The new one will be for next spring.

* Mr B got one of his quonset huts erected

* Sunshine got his work bench assembled. Eventually, it will go into his studio, which is the addition that will hold the solar panels. For now, it will reside in the living room.

* We have resolved the Fucking Internet Fiasco. A second account will be added in my name so that A) we aren’t fighting each other for bandwidth and B) nobody can take it upon himself (or herself) to disconnect our internet without consulting everyone beforehand. Installation is scheduled for the day before my birthday. And no, I’m not telling exactly when that is.

* I’ve started the process for getting my shoulder repaired. It’s only almost two decades overdue.

* I’ve frozen some mangoes I got from work. We use a lot of frozen mango during summer. When I say a lot, I mean serious volume. I should just buy stock in a mango farm.

* We introduced oldest stepson to the wonders of the Habitat For Humanity ReStore & the other local building salvage places. He was thrilled at the prices; I’m thrilled at the repurposing & keeping out of the landfill. We will probably be seeing a lot more of him now, since there aren’t many of those places where he flips houses.

All in all, I feel like we got a lot done in such a short month. Hopefully next month will be just as productive.

Check that off the list

The bathroom vanity is done.

We started with this as inspiration.

What Rude Ass came up with was this.

Here, you can see the guys cutting our countertop off of a remnant of a slab of granite.

The sink is in place, the faucet is connected, the drain/stopper is in place (well, not in this picture, but in real life).

I like the mix-matched hardware on the drawer and doors.

Please ignore the lack of grout in the tiles. We are still waiting on the adhesive to dry in the shower so everything can be grouted and sealed at the same time.

I’m thrilled with the sourcing of so many of the materials we used:

  • Countertop is a piece of remnant
  • Vessel sink purchased from a salvage shop in town
  • The metal insets in the doors? The back of the chicken shelf
  • Those tiles? Part of our haul from the defunct tile distributor warehouse we were allowed to raid (they were dumping pallets of tile into a dumpster as we raided, so we definitely kept the tiles out of a landfill)
  • Some of the wood in the vanity and faucet mount was scraps from other projects
  • And my proudest moment is the faucet and stopper. Those came from a salvage store nearby. It was new old stock, and it’s quality plumbing fixtures (metal, not plastic). The faucet and stopper all together cost me $20 plus tax.
  • Medicine chest: antique, gifted to us by a neighbor

I’m also happy to have Rude Ass building custom pieces for us. It supports a local, skilled craftsman, and that’s very important to us.

It’s a huge step forward, and it’s making me so impatient to be finished with the build. Hopefully, when Sunshine gets back from out of town, we can grout and seal the tile, and move the washing machine into its designated space. Rome wasn’t built in a day; unfortunately, neither is our little house.

Monthly preview: February

What do I want to accomplish during the month of February? Well, whatever it is, it better be a short list, because February is a short month.

I’m not sure I know what I want to accomplish this month, because I’m truly hitting a point of decision fatigue. Our house is progressing to a point where there are actual decisions to be made on finishes and such; the weather is schizophrenic of late so I have to decide how many layers to wear and how to make it look like something other than the staypuft marshmallow man or the kid from that Christmas movie that couldn’t put his arms down; I’m trying to work through my yarn stash because I have a house to fill with pillows and such, and I want to buy yarns to crochet myself some hats and gloves and scarves and shit but I literally have nowhere to store any more yarn in this RV; I’m over being sick, finally, so I’m having to ease back into exercise….

Now that I’ve bitched and moaned, I guess I need to focus and make a list.

    Use up some of my yarn stash that I’ve honestly given up on trying to hide (besides, I have ideas for pillows that I’m actually excited about!)

    Cut up some of Mr b’s brush pile into firewood

    Pick the tile for the shower walls and for the floors throughout the house

    Get Biff to tile the bathroom so we can get the toilet out of the living room

    Finalize plans for the bathroom vanity that Rude Ass is going to build

    Finalize plans for the platform bed with storage that Rude Ass is going to build

    Find a dresser or chest of drawers to refinish for our closet

    Start the great purge, because I am not moving unnecessary shit into the new house

    Figure out a plan to cover the bare cinder block walls inside the closet

    Get everyone’s input on fruit & nut trees and bushes to plant

That simultaneously seems like not very much ambition AND a whole lot of shit to deal with. I’m pretty sure that some gardening tasks should be on that list and I think I’ll cry if I do the research and add them to the list. I struggled alone with the garden last year, and I’m not looking forward to a repeat performance.

So now we know what I hope my February looks like. What actually happens should be interesting, at least.

More motivation than I hought

So I’m actually a day behind on posts about actual events going on in my life. I like to have a post scheduled for the upcoming day so that I don’t go radio silent just because I got hyper focused on some task or another. Which means yesterday’s post about to-do lists was actually about the things I wanted to do Tuesday. 

My sponsor told me to put everything on it: eat lunch, do yoga, cook Mollie’s dinner…. Her reasoning was sound so I rolled with it. She said that it gave me more things I could cross off my list. I also liked that it reminded me to take care of myself instead of just beating myself up by getting hyper focused on the tasks at hand; because I’ll totally forget to eat if I’m in the middle of something big.

Anyway, this post is being written Wednesday for publication on Thursday. So I’m talking about my yesterday, which will be 2 days ago for you guys. 

Side note: I should probably stop thinking about that statement before I create a rip in the space-time continuum. 

Anyways… even though it may not LOOK like I got a lot done yesterday, the magic bus certainly FEELS cleaner. I’m totally shocked at how much I got done.

I even made at Christmas gift in the midst of all that activity.

There’s still quite a bit to do, but I’m not feeling as overwhelmed by it all.

So, maybe telling on myself to my sponsor, my BFF, and the world at large actually gave me some motivation to do all that shit. So thank you for your help!

So much to do, so little motivation to do it

My bathroom is in desperate need of a thorough cleaning. My kitchen isn’t in much better shape, even though there aren’t mustache hairs in the kitchen sink. The floors are gritty. There are random piles of yarn,  gift wrap, hunting clothes, Christmas gifts, and fuck knows what the hell else in every nook and cranny and open space in the magic bus.

I currently have no place to put our Christmas tree, and I’m not NOT having a tree. I tried that our first year in the magic bus and I didn’t like it–not one little bit.

I’ve started crocheting Christmas gifts, but that’s going much too slowly. I’ve been wrapping things as they arrive in the various delivery trucks. I’m disgusted with myself for not being creative enough to come up with more gifts that I can MAKE instead of buy; but ultimately, I have to be realistic and admit that I can’t make Sunshine a rifle scope and I can’t make a soft latex squeak toy like Mollie prefers to play with.

Side note:  seriously, she’s often a picky little bitch. She doesn’t much like the stuffed plush toys any more, and she doesn’t often play with the stiffer latex (plastic, rubber, whatever?) squeak toys; she likes the softer latex squeal toys.

So this week, I’m making myself a to-do list. I’ll also be making a to-done list so I don’t get discouraged by a lack of easily visible progress. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post about my handmade Christmas gifts real soon.

I’m putting this out there so that I can feel somewhat accountable. I’m also going to be telling my sponsor and my BFF about it so they can hold me accountable, too. I’ve got to get my ass in gear, because the house ain’t gon’ clean itself and the presents ain’t gon’ make themselves. So wish me luck, and pray to the house cleaning gods that I don’t get buried under a pile of random shit that has toppled over.

Uninspired

I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired here lately. Part of it is probably attributable to physical pain from aggravating old hip & back injuries; but I don’t think that covers all of it. Maybe there’s some seasonal affective disorder going on.

Whatever, it is what it is and what it is needs to be over because I’m starting to hit crunch time for making Christmas gifts. They might all be “smalls” and not big-ass blankets or whatever, but there are a lot of them, so time’s a’wastin’ and shit.

So, what did I do yesterday?

If you guessed “not Christmas presents”, ding ding ding you win a cardboard cookie!

I made a throw pillow out of an old pair of straight-leg suede pants (such a beautiful dark chocolate color!) Because I don’t already have too many fucking pillows on the bed.

So, I’m writing about my lack of motivation to be productive in hopes that a written record would hold me accountable. It works in my 12 step recovery, so maybe it will work for Christmas gifts.

For our nuclear families, I’m making full sets of cleaning items: machine washable sniffers, dust mitts, bottle scrubbers, blind cleaners, kitchen sponges, and so on. My girl Tia counts as nuclear family, as far as I’m concerned, so that’s a sixth set of cleaning implements to crochet.

For my boss and his wife, hats in their favorite colors. 

For Biff (aka Goldilocks), a hat and a stocking that will be stuffed with little gifts + the hat. I’m on the hunt for some seeds that will sprout twinkies for him, since he considers twinkies to be there own food group that is indispensable to life. So far, my search has been fruitless.

I had wanted to crochet a blanket for Sunshine, but that ship has long since sailed for this year, so maybe next year I’ll get started on that in time.

I’m also fairly certain that I’m forgetting a number of people that I’ll wind up making gifts for, but really… I’ll worry about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is all other day.