Upcoming Projects

I had intended to do inside home projects over the winter — the long, excruciating, sub-zero winter we had here. That didn’t happen because when I got home from my old retail job, I had limited time, or was too tired to move. Let’s face it, I’m not a spring chicken anymore. And that wasn’t helping my gumption. Now I have time! And energy!

Project One: I am going to remove the tissue-paper wall treatment in the family room and prepare to paint. That tissue has been there since before 2001 when we bought this house. It catches dust. It is an outdated look. I would like a different color after all this time, and the texture is not going to help that. It has to go.

Dated wall treatment
So many dust-catching surfaces!

Here’s the plan: tackling one wall at a time, starting with a 7″ entry wall, I’ll work on this during the evenings while watching “my shows.” This entry area includes two other narrow walls, so it isn’t an overwhelming project to start. It gets lots of natural light, which it gets later and later now, anyway.

The starting point.

I will work around the room, systematically, removing window coverings and wall hangings for as brief periods as possible, to provide least disruption. I expect it will take several weeks. There is some big and very heavy furniture in other parts of the family room, which will be a factor in getting the job done. There is also some caulking around the baseboards, window mouldings, and built-in cabinets that will affect the job in those areas. I will access my patience and just plug away. After everything is removed, I’ll address wall prep and paint.

Because I am making my own schedule now, I am able to address this project in a purposeful way. I start next week, that’s the plan. (Only because this is a big birthday weekend at our home.) I’ll be gathering my tools and keeping them in a big bucket in the family room, so there’s not really any good excuse not to do it. “Let the games begin!”


Project Two:  The landscape edging throughout the property has been in dire need of attention for a very long time.

These are a few of my least favorite things…

Missing couplers, rising edging, failed “fast fixes.” Also this, indicative of maintenance and age.

Why is the bottom part of the edging missing?

I’ve calculated the cost for materials from Menard’s. I’ll be repairing and reusing as much of the original as possible. It will require some intense digging. So I will be working in small sections, one bed at a time. I might be working on weekends and evenings when DH can help me with the digging. This promises to be a season-long project, with materials purchased as needed.

Along the house on the side yard (same side as the sidewalk), I plan to extend the bed to allow for the growth of the plants there. It’s quite cramped right now, and cutting back the shrubs still doesn’t provide relief. Also, we’ve been talking forever about planting some screen plants in front of the dining room windows there, and extra bed space is definitely important for that.


Project Three: Oh, that retaining wall! It is on our radar in a big way. It requires a large fund. Until we pay off the yard loan from last year’s work, we cannot even think about contracting this out. I do visit the area and plan “what ifs” occasionally. I did pull up county records and find the property line; it is in our favor for the work that needs to be done, but I don’t think our next-door neighbor knows it yet. (He’s planning on having his fence replaced very soon, so this will come up.)


That’s it. That’s all I’m going to put on the agenda for this year. Yes, other things will come up, I know it. But these are my plans. One inside, one outside, one being saved for professionals. Works for me.




“Turn and face the change.”

I worked retail. I swore off retail 28 years ago. But about a year and a half ago I took a job where I shopped (women’s specialty clothing), because I wanted to help the women I saw in there. Fit, color, shape, honey, you look great/not so great. I had worked with women as a trainer, and found satisfaction in helping them with their self-confidence. When last fall I visited another store where I shop, I was actively recruited. Nicer place, smaller. Same idea that I could help other women. It was great, but a big learning curve.  And I did make a big difference to some of these women, I know — they told me all the time. They appreciated what I taught and showed them. My mother in law, a lifetime retail veteran before taking early retirement, was supportive and offered some good advice.

Then I got promoted to assistant store manager, part time. Oh, my. What a drain this was for me. It wasn’t the number of hours, it’s that the hours changed. I could work till 8:30 or 9:00 one night and have to show up at 8:30 the next morning, but it was never consistent. My eating habits were all out of whack, and that affected my sleep, weight, digestion and health. And the drama! Oh.my.goodness!

That just didn’t work out, and I left. Remember back when I said, “When work kicks your butt, you can either kick back, or leave. An increasingly oppressive management team, or sustained loss of key employees to better opportunities, creates unbearable stress sometimes. Usually that comes at the same time as an increased project load, or an acquisition. When the perfect storm of stress, oppression and project despair sets its course, you need to move it or lose it. Your health and mental well being are at stake.” Well, there you go!

In four days, I lost 1.5 lbs., my blood pressure has normalized, my indigestion has waned, and I am actually sleeping through the night again. I am happier and more energetic. DH was highly supportive, and has seen the difference, too.

Our anticipated monthly budgets, though, include a part time income from yours truly. The loan for last year’s issues is nearly paid off. I got this! I actually dipped my toe into the waters of a side hustle about a month prior. It has potential. It requires flexibility and top notch customer service (which figures into an algorithm that determines your job offers). I have 100% customer service rating so far. But the company is new to this market, and they are actively recruiting contractors like me, so the offerings are very inconsistent. Still, I made more than $120 last week, and more than $100 this week already in two days. More on that later.

Point is, change happens, and you have to find your groove, do the best with what you have. I’m really liking this side-hustle-turned-main-income-stream, and hope that soon biz picks up enough that I can be selective in accepting job offers. Right now I make my own hours, so I can provide consistency at home, for mealtimes, projects, outings, date nights. And I’m still looking for other contract work for days when this option is slow. I like being my own boss, and actually, the gig economy is happening whether I like it or not.

Life is full of changes. Adaptation is the key to survival.