Back in the Swing of Things
Back in the Swing of Things

Back in the Swing of Things

Well, here we are in June, and the last DIY-related thing I did was back in April!  Oy!  Every weekend I tell myself I’m going to do some DIY stuff, but every weekend comes and goes with no DIY.  Lately my weekends look like this:  Saturdays are spent relaxing, decompressing from the work week, and re-charging my batteries [aka – reading, napping, walking, and laying on the couch watching TV].  I’ve been battling mental health issues for the past year [well, for most of my adult life, but they took a turn for the worse last summer], and my lazy Saturdays really help.  I also walk 3 miles 5 days a week, including Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  Sundays are far more productive – errands, cleaning, organizing, hitting the beach or movies with hubby, visiting friends, walking, puttering around the yard, and DIY when I have the energy.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned much about our yard yet.  It’s very small and covered in gravel [there’s no way a lawn mower would fit, so grass is out!], but it’s right on the river so I can’t complain.  It’s sort of triangle shaped, with a waist-high rock wall on one side [facing the river], a tall privacy fence on the other [facing the driveway/road], and a shorter picket-type fence separating our yard from our neighbor Kathy’s:

back yard of condo        back yard of condo

Every May I move half my indoor plants out to the yard so they can soak up the rain and sunshine.  Most are flowering hibiscus, mixed in with orchid cacti and Christmas cacti.  I also buy flats of Petunias and plant them in large pots lining the rock wall, interspersed with planters which I sprinkle with Bachelor Button and Zinnea seeds.  This year, in addition to red and purple Petunias, I found “Black Velvet” Petunias, which are gorgeous!  And Kathy gave me a very robust looking strawberry plant which I’m excited about!  I also bought a Mandevilla vine which has big pink flowers and blooms all summer.  Last year I had one which wove it’s flowering tendrils in and out of the picket fence giving both yards a beautiful wall of flowers.  Unfortunately I killed that one, but I’m hoping this year I’ll successfully transition the new one indoors for the winter and back outside next spring.

back yard of condo with views of the ipswich river, waterfall, riverwalk bridge and ebsco        back yard of condo and my black velvet petunias

Once the plants are spread throughout the yard, there’s just enough room left for a few lawn chairs, our portable firepit, and my little Weber gas grill which sits on the wall.  Someday I would love to have a yard with actual grass in it, but for now, I totally enjoy the river view and all the critters that come with it.  We just got word from our contractor that the permit for our deck has come through [2nd floor deck, same footprint as the yard].  Once it’s built [hopefully by mid-July], I can finally build the boys their indoor/outdoor cat enclosure!  It will run from the the girl cave to the deck railing and back [see my 2015 Projects list for more info!].  They’re going to LOVE it!  Poor Bonkers pines away for the outdoors – he sits in front of the door to the yard and cries [both cats were shelter cats, so we don’t know their backgrounds].  It’s quite pitiful and sad!  Darwin has a passion for birds that sends him flying around the house from window to window, but he doesn’t have much interest in actually being outside.  However, the indoor/outdoor cat enclosure will bring him SO much closer to the birds, so I think they’ll both love it.  On a side note, Kathy set up a squirrel feeder in her yard a few weeks ago, and the squirrel finally discovered it – so cute:

42e        bonkers sitting chair screen door back yard

I am happy to report that this past weekend I actually did accomplish some DIY stuff!  Some of which has been on my “to do” list for quite a while.  I started by putting up a small shelf in the living room, above the French doors, and moving some of my long-tailed wooden cat collection over to that shelf.  They have been taking up residence on the shelf above our TV for months, but my collection expanded over the holidays and the cats above the TV started looking a little crowded [the first picture doesn’t include the new ones!].  After splitting my collection between the 2 spots, they look much better.  I picked the cats that best complement the colors in the Guinea Hen painting our friends Nat & Joy brought us from Africa [which is framed by ornaments my Dad brought me back from Germany 20 years ago!].  Here’s a before shot, and 3 afters [notice the beautiful roses and orchids my hubby got me for our 2nd anniversary last Wednesday – he’s amazing!]:

living room long tailed cats        42h

living room long tailed cats and guinea hen painting        living room long tailed cats guinea hen painting french doors

After I was done fiddling with the long-tailed cats, I decided to finally replace the handles on the built-in cupboards in the living room and master bedroom with the new ones I bought at IKEA last year [they’re a quarter-inch longer, requiring a bit of measuring and drilling].  They look so much better than the ugly 70’s-style ones that came with the condo!  BEFORE pics on the left, AFTER pics on the right:

 living room cupboard original door hardware        living room cupboard new door hardware

bedroom built-in cupboard original door hardware        bedroom built-in cupboard new door hardware

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    1. Nine Dark Moons

      If I had more confidence in my tiling abilities, I’d offer to do your kitchen walls… but I’ve never tiled anything before and I don’t want to use your house as the guinea pig!

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