Saturday, April 3, 2010

Planting, Framing, Painting, Framing (A Different Kind), Wiring, Writing (Or: Where Has My Weekend Gone?)

It's been a busy weekend for me at Chateau Papillon (and busy for Beth, period; she's putting in 12-hour-plus days petsitting due to spring break for Fairfax County).  First, the plantings, with all this fantastic weather: two River Birches to join the one we planted in our side yard last year; add to that two Red-twig Dogwood shrubs, a juniper (non-native, unfortunately, but c'est la vie), and three bags of various bulbs.  Oh, and I replanted a tree sapling which had seeded itself along the fence line.  Still to go: the Ninebark, two Blueberry bushes, three Rhodies, two foamflowers, and two Inkberries.  And about 6 sacks of miscellaneous bulbs.  And the little saplings from the Arbor Day Foundation (10x) whenever they come in.

The framing?  I needed mats cut for two 12 x 18" prints, so I picked up a Logan 450 Mat Cutter at AC Moore with a 50% off coupon (making it cheaper than Amazon by about $40, but it can be found more cheaply online than that).  I framed the two photos (one of Fort De Soto Beach at sunset, one of a park in Vicenza, Italy), then moved on to more complicated matting and framed a creepy kitty postcard from Venice (said feline is dressed as a plague "doctor"), doing the 4 x 5.75" postcard in a huge 12 x 16" frame with a black mat.

Painting... well, not as much as I might have wanted so far, but I got out the power paint stirrer for my drill and cracked open a can of the chocolate we used in our hallway... two coats later, and the new thermostat looks like it was always meant to be there--despite all the screw holes I filled and sanded down where the new unit hangs vertically.  Add some general touch-up in the hall as well... I'll say the paint, over a year old now, is on its last legs; within 10 minutes after mixing, it had already begin to separate back out.  That leaves the library wall near the lights witch, as well as the library closet (which is still fuchsia, believe it or not).  And touch-up here and there throughout the rest of the house.  Not to mention the Neptune Suite and painting the exterior block walls, but those latter tasks will have to wait.

Framing again... I'm slowly working on framing in the new wall and doorway which will separate the laundry & storage room from the rest of the basement--once complete, guests staying in the Neptune suite need no longer see our Zombie Preparedness Racks of food bought in bulk and the like, or our grubby laundry sink and the sundry junk (X-mas decorations?) piled around that room.

Wiring... goes with that latter framing.  Two new outlets (one GFCI), a new light fixture, two light switches, and rewiring two fixtures we put in a few weeks ago to get them all on the same breaker.  Still to come: crawling in the attic again before it gets ungodly hot and draws in all the buzzy-bees and creepy-crawlies who have come to life with the coming of Spring.  I've got a ceiling fan and the Library's second fixture to install before weather compromises my ability to work in the attic.

Writing... well, I keep having inspiration to go and put some pen to paper and tackle something really creative--maybe the Torso Man story, or maybe something a little less gruesome.  Instead, I'm pooped and am writing in my blog.

I've left out photos, something quite important, as the Bird Watchers' Digest contributor submissions are due Monday, so I've got tomorrow to get my set together and posted online for BWD with the hopes of having them take (and pay me for) one of this month's.  And I've got to check into the due dates for Virginia Wildlife's contest, and Wild Bird's (which I won last year with my White Ibis--can't enter the amateur category there anymore; sigh).  Not to mention more trip photos to process, bird photos taken around the yard (no time yet for a trip to our favorite birding park, Huntley Meadows; sigh).

And cooking... oh, yes, how can I forget that?  I think I'll have to devote another blog to that alone.

It's been a busy start to the weekend, anyway.

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