I have very few personal resolutions for the new year – perfect a recipe for calorie-free cheesecake, stop using “friend” as a verb, bring dress socks and sandals back in style – that sort of thing. Beyond that, I’m good. God has richly blessed me this past year spiritually, materially, and physically.
However, the Lizard Lounge itself could do with a little project closure, a la dude-you’ve-lived-here-ten-years-why-does-that-cabinet-door-still-not-close-all-the-way?
I’ve been reading my new friend Katy’s blog, Happy Bungalow, the story of her journey in turning a Craftsman-style house that, as she puts it, “needed a little TLC” into her “forever home”. In scrolling through her pictures and stories about the various projects she and her husband have tackled, I have to admit to turning a color I don’t look particularly good in: green (with envy). She and her husband bought this house just two years ago; during that time she’s had two children, accomplished enough DIY projects to have her own show on HGTV, hosted about 30 people or so for Thanksgiving on her newly re-done massive front porch, and is learning to sew.
Kinda makes me tired. But also inspired.
All my life I’ve managed to elevate procrastination and short attention span-age to an art. (I can easily wile away an afternoon working the LA Times crossword puzzle online.) But new years tend to bring an anticipation of change and better tomorrows.
For the balance of this post, I’m going to air the Lizard Lounge’s proverbial dirty laundry and make a pictorial confession and commitment to completing some projects that have been unfinished or on the drawing board for way too long.
Granted, my little concrete-block Florida house will never compete with Katy’s Craftsman-style home with its front porch big enough for the cast of “The Ten Commandments”, but I can definitely make the Lounge the best little concrete block Florida home west of Legoland and add a few check marks to my years-old to-do list in the process.
difficulty rating: 3 (out of 10, with 10 being the hardest)
I built the bookcases in my dining room/office/library several years ago and it didn’t take long for them to become veritable catch-alls. It’s time to empty everything off, paint the backs to match the surrounding walls, touch up the paint on the shelves due to use and abuse, and totally re-organize.
In the photo above, you’ll see a variety of seemingly unrelated items that need new homes, including a) a tape measure, b) two moss-covered styrofoam balls that I’m not sure I can explain, c) a Star Trek phaser (not real, unfortunately), d) two cool little stainless photo frames without photos, e) a roll of brown crafts paper, f) hardware for some Roman shades I’m making (hmmm…those should be in this post, too…), and an (unmarked) iPod charging cable.
I don’t own an iPod.
Window seat cushion
difficulty rating: 2 (since all I have to do is pick out some fabric and find an upholsterer to make the cushion)
Since we’re talking about the bookcases, this window seat would be the ideal reading spot if it wasn’t so uncomfortable. I also plan to add some sort of molding around the window as well. Which brings me to…
Undistinguished windows (interior)
difficulty rating: 5
Windows in houses like mine are typically just holes in the wall with no architectural interest whatsoever. Hopefully that will change in 2011 as I design (easy and fun) and build and install (neither easy nor fun) some sort of unique molding-like treatment to give the windows a more finished look. (Just patching and painting the holes above them where I took down the nasty vertical blinds would be a start.)
While we’re on windows…
Undistinguished windows (exterior)
difficulty rating: 3
I took the cheap and tacky gray shutters down and started painting the aluminum windows the same color as the roof to give them some interest. You can see how far I got…
New front door
difficulty rating: 2 (Just like the window seat cushion, all I have to do is order it, pay for it, and let the installers do the work.)
difficulty rating: 1
(If that palm would just grow a little faster…)
Junk closet cum home office
difficulty rating: 5
This is where all the “I have no idea where to put this stuff” stuff goes to die. Granted, just cleaning it out would be a start, but I also want to turn it into something akin to a home office, so practical shelves and some thought given to ergonomics have to come into play. I managed to install a grounded outlet in there without electrocuting myself or shutting down the power on the block, but I can’t get to the plug for all the junk. (I’ve got the number for Salvation Army here somewhere.)
difficulty rating: 7
Just think of this as the outside equivalent of the junk closet. This will require lots of blood, sweat, tears, jackhammering, and finishing building the lounge chair (pictured) I’m 95% through with.
I’m thinking a paver patio, potting bench, and a small sun deck (and thinning those Lady palms out that have run rampant the past few months).
While I’m outside…
The once and future patio
difficulty rating: 10
That flagstone pathway leading off the carport really needs to connect to something besides dead grass, don’t you think?
Covered piano bench seat
difficulty rating: 3
I built this piano bench with the intention of padding and covering the seat one day. That day has arrived.
difficulty rating: 8
One word: yipes!
As you can see, it’s going to be a busy year at the Lizard Lounge. But if I end up next year about this time with all kinds of excuses why my to-do list has nary a checkmark and I’m still sitting on a hard seat while I play the piano, cut me a little slack – there are lots of crossword puzzles to finish.