Tuesday already - wow. I started vacation last Thursday; I think I actually started to relax sometime Easter morning.
Easter was low key, but wonderful. I volunteer to run graphics on holidays; my plans are generally pretty flexible, and unlike some of the other techs, I've no kids and family to wrangle and herd off to someplace. A song that was done as a "special" (which we rarely have, and I like it that way - a rant for another post) is The Mercy Tree. Take a listen, but also read and think on the words. For anyone who believes, it's impossible to tire of that message.
A friend and I celebrated together, with a good but not excessive feast (pork tenderloin rather than ham, seven layer salad, carrots and rolls) and a couple of games of canasta. Lots of talk and laughter as well.
After four years of owning my sound dock, I finally figured out how to pop out the insert in the tray that holds the ipod. The dock came with three different inserts; after carefully resting my ipod in each, I popped the one that (should have) fit into the tray. As it turned out, the player would not fully connect with the docking pins with that insert in place.
And I couldn't figure out how to get it out. Until this morning, when I took one look, flicked a finger at it and popped it right out. Slow learner, that's me. I could use the dock prior to this without actually docking the ipod, if I connected it as an "audio" component via a cord connected to the headphone jack (and simultaneously charged the ipod with a separate charging cord to an outlet), but it was a pain. Actually docking the thing allows it to charge through that connection, without the extra cords and hassle.
Yay, me. Yoyo Ma is currently filling the condo with happy sounds.
Much of the last part of last week was spent catching up on sleep and unwatched television, running errands and messing about. I did manage to spend Saturday afternoon in the studio, and I'll show the results shortly. Lots of fun, cute results for minimal work.
It's been spring cleaning time the last couple of days. Call it a medium-deep clean. Not quite clearing out every drawer and cupboard, but certainly scrubbing everything else to within an inch of its life (or 1/8 inch of the thickness of its veneer). Polish the banisters. Use the extension wand to reach the highest corners of the ceilings, where spiders sometimes make a home (and what is with that - I thought spiders prefer to have a close source of water, and my ceilings most certainly don't leak). Pull all the canned goods out of the pantry and rearrange things.
In the meantime, I've managed to make a plan for the patio, working on depleting the budget I'd set. For such a small space, getting it in shape has required a bit of an investment. A small pressure washer, to wash off the ingrained dirt in the concrete, seemed like a good thing. The patio will need a wash at least in the spring, and most likely in the fall before winter sets in. I can use it in the parking garage as well, to get a bit of grime off. Basement floor, too. It should have enough pressure to shoot a stream up to wash the second floor windows.
The patio set is wrought iron, a 52" table and four chairs, with a decent umbrella. My grill is a portable Weber. Rather than set it on the ground, I've found a wrought iron side table just a bit bigger than the grill itself. I don't need to worry about the table melting (plastic) or catching fire (wood). Can't wait to fire up the grill.
Storage is an issue. There isn't much to store - four chair cushions, the winter cover for the patio furniture, a watering can, the hose and nozzle and a bucket with gardening tools. The outdoor closet is the back of the chimney enclosure, and very shallow. The gas pipe for the fireplace runs along the bottom of that closet, rendering it useless for dumping things. There is one lonely shelf in that space; I need to put up a couple more. Even so, it won't be enough room.
Enter the deck box. It's actually a "patio storage bench", complete with back and armrests. I can't see needing the extra seating out there often, but I can see putting a table cloth on the seat and using it as a staging area for grilling things. Anyway, the soft goods will be stored there, along with the gardening stuff. The charcoal and grilling tools will hide in the closet, once there are more shelves.
All this started because I wanted to finally put flowers in the urns, and that will be the one thing that most likely won't get done this week. Silly me, I forgot that the nights in April can still go down to freezing, as indeed they are forecast to do for the next week (thirty-five, actually). I don't want to risk planting outdoors when it still is so cold, but I also don't want to buy the plants and have them taking up room in the studio (where they would get the most light) for the next two weeks. Stupid Wisconsin weather.
Craft day tomorrow. I need to narrow down what I want to work on, but can't until I know what my friend is bringing to do. The idea is to have fun together; it makes no sense for me to be in the studio, sewing, if she is in the dining room cutting out a quilt. If she is working on the cute serving sets she makes, she can work in the studio while I sew. Otherwise, I need to put the binding on a small project so I can sit and hand sew in the dining room with her if she is cutting...choices, choices.
I'm considering participating in Dewey's Readathon, which starts (for my time zone) at 7 a.m. Saturday. The idea of reading for as much of 24 hours as I can seems appealing; the reality may be a bit daunting. I'd love to finish up the half dozen books I have in process, and if I can get most of the patio work and cleaning out of the way, I may read for much of the day...but not 24 hours. For one thing, once I take my contacts out (about 16 - 17 hours is the max I can stand them), my vision goes downhill rapidly. I simply don't see as well with the glasses, making reading a literal headache. For another...I like my sleep. Fortunately, you don't have to commit to the full twenty-four hours to play.
I guess it's time to get back to the cleaning. I've been up since five, taking out the garbage, going out to grab breakfast, fixing the sound dock, reading a bit and posting this. Can't delay the inevitable any longer.