Friday, January 2, 2009

Pegboard, baby.

In what I suspect may be solidifying into an annual tradition, Matt & I once again cleaned out the garage for New Year's. (It's an overrated holiday, anyway. I never got the point of parades that didn't throw something, and beans and cabbage are a lousy excuse for holiday food. Nor do I understand why we all become Scottish for a few brief moments at midnight every new year. Nothing against the Scottish, but WTF? Why not Welsh? Or Lithuanian, for that matter?)

The highlight this year was installing pegboard. Oh, yeah. Our hand tools have moved out of their bins and into their own custom-designed individualized little condos. Look how pretty:

A symphony in pegboard

We have such richness of screwdrivers that we're going to have to go back to Lowe's and buy two more screwdriver racks to accommodate the entire collection. And now that we have more bin space, perhaps we will buy some of those cunning little plastic chests of drawers to sort out our massive nail and bolt collections.

Also, now that we've cleaned there's plenty of space to park the new Pony and our two bikes, reproachful in their deflated tires and spiderwebby spokes. Perhaps this year we will actually start riding them again?

The garage, you may recollect, is actually in 3 parts because sheds kept accumulating on top of sheds during the garage's lifespan--kind of like coral. Corrugated, lopsided, dilapidated metal coral. So on New Year's we cleaned up the large main storage room. Remaining are the workshop, chaotic with shadecloth rolls, partially stripped doors, and barbecue implements, and the mildew-infested central section, which can't be really be reclaimed until we finish tarring the roof. We hope to make some progress on these two sections this weekend. This means that our New Year's Resolution has taken on a chronic sort of quality that I distinctly disapprove of. I don't want the damn thing hanging over my head till Valentine's Day--we'll have to get an early and merciless start tomorrow morning and kick that thing violently into shape.

Meanwhile--and I stress that these are not Resolutions, but merely a list of suggested activities--here is a list of some stuff that we should probably tackle this year:

(1) Gutters. Gutters, gutters, gutters, gutters, gutters. And the prerequisite replacing of the fascia.
(2) Do Something about the home's energy inefficiency: install storm windows, call out an HVAC dude to check the heater and ductwork, and fill in all cracks, crannies, and crevices.
(3) Complete the walkway to the wee pond. This may necessitate first replacing the pond liner, possibly with a larger one.
(4) Add a 6th Mutabilis and finish the edging around the Mutabilis bed.
(5) Replace hideous and disfunctional tub fixtures in both bathrooms. This includes repositioning the shower head to a height comfortable for individuals larger than hobbits.
(6) Stain adirondack chair given to me by Matt for my birthday and buy a companion chair, ottoman or 2, and small table.
(7) Obtain effity-effing bay laurel and chitalpa. I've been meaning to do it for months and it keeps not happening. WHY? Absolutely necessary to give any semblance of coherence to rose bed and blue-and-purple bed.
(8) Fix upstairs toilet, which clogged, then started leaking.
(9) Finish irrigation system
(10) Get Javier to hang doors. Then stain and varnish them.
(11) Work on door between kitchen and hall.
(12) Finish baseboards.
(13) Make & hang curtains in study.
(14) Buy blinds for guest room.
(15) Start on curtains for dining room & living room.
(16) Get handyperson to open windows currently painted shut. Buy latches for newly liberated windows. Replace cracked panes.
(17) Install Archduke Charles hedge at end of kitchen patio.
(18) Finish paving kitchen patio (edge area, put down paving sand, replace stones, fill in with crushed granite.)
(19) Make a start on creating a permanent structure for the Orangery.
(20) Create shade garden around new shade patio
(21) Create walkway from drive to front sidewalk.
(22) Touch up exterior paint, expecially doors.
(23) Replace warped shutters
(24) Wiring work to eliminate exterior refrigerator's dependency on garage light being on in order to operate.
(25) Possibly replace outdoor fridge with chest freezer.
(26) Install Asko dishwasher
(27) Install ventless gas fireplace/stove in living room and small gas bathroom heater in mbath
(28) Get HVAC guy to install vent in mbath
(29) Install buffalograss in front yard

So that's daunting.

Let's stop and appreciate what we've accomplished in 2008.

(1) Acquired roses necessary for gazebo, Mutabilis hedge, and new trellis
(2) Built new trellis
(3) Completed shade patio
(4) Finished (at long last) refurbishment of porch glider
(5) Electrical work including elimination of inexplicable and dysfunctional breaker box under house, addition of outdoor outlets, addition of outdoor ceiling fan, and installation of (rather horrible) doorbell.
(6) Permanently fixed master bath toilet after finally securing competent plumber
(7) Replaced venerable but hideous 1974 sofa with New Hotness.
(8) Created walkway from study door to shade patio
(9) Laid a vast and almost-all-inclusive irrigation system
(10) Planted 7 trees, including 'Little Gem' magnolia. Most survived the 4th droughtiest summer on record.
(11) Acquired riding lawn mower
(12) Installed blown attic insulation
(13) Began Hill Country xeriscapic bed along fence
(14) Began patching leaky garage roof--about half done
(15) Acquired new built-in bookshelves and file drawers.
(16) Stained and varnished same.
(17) Built (admittedly underutilized) compost bin
(18) Cut opening in back of gazebo
(19) Had antique doors dipped and stripped
(20) Acquired, through Ladonna's good graces, valences for kitchen, mbath, and gbed.
(21) Sprouted Crinum macowanni seedlings
(22) Installed new vanity in gbath
(23) Removed gutters
(24) Finished light pole bed
(25) Matt built hoophouse (greenhouse)
(26) Matt tore down remaining hurricane fence

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