For the record, New Year’s resolution are for the birds.
Come on – you know you’re with me on that.
Last January, I determinedly posted a list of 11 home and garden projects that I intended to complete here at the Lizard Lounge this past year, complete with photographic documentation of their current needy state.
At final count, I finished five of them.
In my defense… Oh forget it – there really isn’t a good defense.
Actually, as it turns out I’m ahead of the curve. Out of the 45% of Americans who set New Year’s resolutions, about half have “infrequent success”. (My apologies to my readers in Yugoslavia – I’m still looking for statistics for you guys.) I would call completing 5 out of 11 projects infrequently successful.
Plus, that number doesn’t count all the non-documented projects I completed around here. I repaired a leaking washing machine, installed a new ice maker, bought a new stove, deep-cleaned my garbage disposal, and totally reorganized all my Christmas stuff. (While that may seem a simple task, you can read here, here, here, and here to see how many deck-o-rations I have.) I also read the Bible all the way through and survived twice daily traffic on I-4. That’s gotta count for something.
Maybe the problem lies in the whole idea of actually writing one’s resolutions down and putting them out there for everyone to see. The closer to the end of the year you get without much being done the more it sort of sucks the joy right out of it for you.
Or maybe resolutions ought to be more personally and spiritually beneficial, like actually limiting Facebook time to just once a week and filling those previously squandered hours with writing and arranging music and starting that second blog that’s been on my heart for some time now and flossing. Not that by putting any of these things in writing am I committing to actually fulfilling them in 2012 or anything. (Don’t wanna go down that road again…)
Anyway, at least I’ve already got the jump on six projects I may (or may not) complete next year around here. No promises.
As far as 2011 projects, in addition to a new window seat cushion, a new front door (I know, I know – those two really just involved shopping and writing a check to someone else, even though my friend Katy tried to make me feel like less of a loser by trying to convince me that shopping for fabric can be extremely trying. I love that gal…), and a new piano bench, I also finished painting all the unpainted spots on the exterior of the Lounge, and got my bookcase clutter under control.
I’ll start with the painting project.
My key learning (as we like to say at work) when painting the corner of the house shown in the photo (to the right) is that cheap-o foam paint brushes from Walmart are great for painting brick. You can easily shove paint in all the cracks and crevices, and, once you’re finished, just toss what’s left of the brush in the garbage; no clean up is necessary. (Unless, like me, you end up just pulling the sponge part off the handle and using your fingers to squish the paint in place.)
In addition to the new coat of exterior paint, I also remulched and added some river pebbles to that corner planting bed and installed a fountain, given to me by my dear friend George.
The interesting thing to me, though, as I compared the before and after photos, is how much that Chinese Fan Palm has grown this past year. (I especially noticed that as I tried to climb back there to paint.) If it had been this tall last January, I may not have bothered. Just sayin’…
My final project involves the bookcases in my… well, bookcase room. (You may recall that I built these in the wake of Hurricane Charlie a few years ago.) I’m really pleased with how they turned out, even though it was really tedious and a potential safety hazard.
I had decided that, in addition to busting all the clutter that had accumulated, I would paint the backs a shade darker than the wall color (see the photo at the top and to the right). This involved taking everything off the shelves, taping the sides up so they wouldn’t get painted along with the backs, and removing the shelves themselves. Imagine all those books (many of which I’ve since donated to my church library and Goodwill) and shelves lying about in precarious stacks on the floor throughout that room. When George came down on Thanksgiving, I issued him a GPS and a survival kit in case he got lost on the way to the kitchen.
I’m really pleased with the way the bookcases turned out, though. However, once I got rid of all that no-longer-needed stuff, I discovered I have way more shelves than books.
I guess I’ll need to add “shop for shelf merchandise” to next year’s resolution list.