Lots of Work and Some Play

Sometimes, we work on our house, but that little project isn’t worthy of a post.  Today, we’re sharing the boring projects/maintenance we’ve recently completed.

Ben brought a pressure washer (Vincent calls it a water compressioner) home to wash the mold off the north side of the house.  I complained about it here, and Sam M suggested a hot pressure washer.

He hooked it up to hot water and it worked quickly and came off easily.

Then Ben used a leaf blower in reverse to suck the leaves out of our window wells.  Nothing life changing, but it looks much better.

Before the attic become sweltering, we decided to install an exhaust fan in the master bathroom.  Previously, this was a half bath, so it never had a fan.

It made a mess in our tub, (Mickey didn’t approve) but it was long overdue.

Side note: When Ben was younger, he asked his mom what the bath fan did.  She replied, “It takes the bad air and puts it outside.”  He asked, “Under the rocks?”  She said yes (they had an earth berm home).  She asked how Ben knew this.  His response?  “Because I’ve smelled under them before.”

Our window boxes looked terrible; everything died over the winter.

See, dead.

Another side note: When Ben was about 4, he went outside and saw icicles had fallen off the house.  He called to his brothers, “Guys, look at the icicles, DEAD”  Can you tell they grew up hunting?  Of course if they we on their side they were dead.  I about died laughing when I read that in Ben’s baby book.

To remedy this, we took a trip to Home Depot to pick up flowers.  I chose Coleus, Creeping Jenny, Impatiens, and Pansies.

Better, but I hope the tiny flowers actually grow.  If not, I wasted $15 per window.

I also had a few rose bushes die over the abnormally harsh winter, so I chose three plants for roughly $10 each from Lowe’s.  See how much bigger the new plants are compared to the original one on the right?

One of Ben’s apple trees died, too, so we bought four fruit trees to plant.  Two apples and two cherry trees. Vincent helped Ben while Everett hung out on the blanket.  I worked on refinishing the bench.

I also stole clipped a few lilacs from the neighbor’s bush to display in the dining room.

My brother and sister-in-law are expecting a baby girl, due to arrive any day now.  I’m so excited to make girl items, and a butterfly mobile seemed perfect.  I bought a macrame hoop from Hobby Lobby for three bucks and chose assorted pink and purple card stock.  Using fine gauge wire, I separated the hoop into 8 sections.  Then, I drew a butterfly and traced half of it on my paper.  I folded the paper in half and cut out tons of butterflies.

I poked a small hole near the top of each with a needle and strung white thread through to hang the butterflies from.

Here is a shot from a BPOV (baby point of view).  A small cup hook easily holds the mobile above the crib.

Do you remember the scene from The Shining when Wendy discovers Jack’s ‘book’?  The pages covered with ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’

Well, sometimes, that’s what we feel like.  A trip on the boat, on a Thursday no less, can help that.  I love Montana lakes surrounded by mountains.  That never happens in Minnesota.

We had fun until the wind picked up and we had 8 foot waves to compete with.

Is your to do list overflowing with little projects and/or maintenance?  It can be overwhelming, can’t it?  What do you do to get a relaxing day away from your list?

13 thoughts on “Lots of Work and Some Play

  1. Good to see you a few times! Love the butterfly mobile, what a great (and cheap) idea. I just went to a rummage sale and bought a dirty, broken side table that I plan to make over into a TV stand… I have no idea where/how to start on it but I have big plans for this little guy!

  2. I just got back from a girl’s trip to Puerto Rico. So I have had a lot of play and now it is work time and I can’t seem to get motivated…Wondering if you made your flower boxes? I want to make some of my own and would love any advice! Thanks! – Jamie

    1. Hi Jamie,

      We did build the window boxes. They’re actually pretty simple, just a 5 sided rectangle. Ours are about 8 inches tall and 7 usable inches deep, so Ben cut a 7 inch wide by 48 inch-ish long piece of plywood. Then, he attached the sides to the bottom using glue and nails. Then the 2 inch wide decorative pieces were attached, with another 1 1/2 inch piece around the top sides and front (but not the back because it wouldn’t sit flush.) We just primed and gloss painted all surfaces and drilled holes for drainage. If you want to make them more water resistant, you could line the inside with a thick plastic to prevent rotting. Does that help? Sorry, I don’t think I have progress shots of that.


  3. Love that there are more shots of the kiddies too! I have two boys that are now 7 and 5. Seeing your boys brings back fond memories of when mine were smaller. My to-do list is endless. I have learned two things in motherhood…to have patience (most of the time) and to embrace mediocrity. By that, I mean that I have come to accept that there are only so many hours in a day and that “good enough” is the new perfect.

    1. You’re welcome, Jamie! You can staple the plastic in place, too. Oh, I added a layer of foam insulation, just to help keep the weight down. We really didn’t need the depth for the plants, just looked better. Please do let me know how it goes. Share pics on our Facebook, too. 🙂

  4. I love all of your molding! It’s gorgeous! I need a fat vase of lilacs on my table! We have so many little projects, starting with the tile for the tub surround that ‘s been sitting in my garage for over a month…better get crackin’!

    1. Julia, a road trip is a great break! Our exterior still needs so much love. You just can’t see the bad parts. Maybe we’ll share in another post…

      SallyHP, Thank you so much! I love free flowers in the house. I can’t wait for my roses to bloom. 🙂 And, if it makes you feel any better, we still have unfinished projects (going on 5 years!)

  5. Your house is so pretty and so clean! I love the shot with your lilacs on the table. I worked in my flower beds today and made some progress..they were a mess. Your mobile is super cute too!

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