#251–Getting things done . . .

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You know how sometimes in the middle of the night you wake up and think of all the things that need to be done and picture yourself getting right on it—one project after another. Check, check, check! Then the next morning when you really are awake, you realize that it was all wishful thinking. In my case, it’s just not gonna happen. I no longer have the strength, agility, or stamina to do much of what I want done.

Doing a program about my book Devil Cat in a a bookstore in California last August.

During the last few years, my life had become really busy. Nearly every day I had to be somewhere. And three times a year, I took off for two to three weeks to see family and friends in California, and the third trip would be to take a vacation with my sister. During this time, my knee was starting to make walking more difficult. So, although the past few years have been successful as to marketing my books and enjoying my trips, they have been a frustration in other ways. I had gotten into the habit of putting off anything that wasn’t immediately necessary.

I had put together this four-level shelving, but now I needed to sort and organize my office. Groucho was happy as long as he could get to his perch.

So walking around the yard was a frustration because everywhere I looked needed work. The house needed work inside and out. My office, the garage, the basement, and my walk-in closet in my bedroom were all just begging to be cleaned up, sorted, and organized. So everywhere, not just the yard, had become a frustration.

Two years ago, I started getting things done. That’s when I had the house painted. Last year, I hired someone to pull out all the ivy that was more dead than alive before having Laurel Bay Gardens landscape the two top terraces in the back and weed and replace the gravel below the house and put in railings on the slope in back so I could get down and up easier. Then this year, I had the roof replaced. That was major. And I had the garage doors painted with a semi-gloss paint. I went for a more expensive roof and I really like the way it looks. I also like the newly painted garage doors.

I love the new roof and the newly painted garage doors.

And Todd, who used to just do the weed whacking down below, now keeps the roof cleaned off, the gutters cleaned out, and drains unplugged. All jobs that I used to do. He also uses his blower on the front driveway and porch and front steps. He also power washed the front driveway. It had never been cleaned so thoroughly before. And just yesterday I talked to him about cleaning off and then re-staining the red gates, fencing and door to the basement, which I also used to do, as well as cleaning up the area behind the woodshed which has been neglected for the past few years. He agreed! He has been helping me for more than 30 years.

I used two former bean pole supports to restart the vine, and it worked.

He also makes my ideas come true. About three years ago, I cut back a vine that had become a monster––a bushy vine that grew to two and a half stories high that clung to deck and balcony. I thought it would die when I cut it back to only a stump, but it didn’t. It sent out dozens of feelers. So a few months ago, I had Todd put up two sturdy supports that I used to have for pole beans. I threaded the feelers through. Before long leaves started appearing and now it looks just fine. I don’t plan on letting it get any taller this time around.

Another idea of mine was how to prevent deer walking through one area. I had put up fish line many years ago as sort of a fence to keep them out. It didn’t keep them out and was broken and tangled and looked awful. So I thought about mesh fencing that I’ve seen around construction projects—usually in orange. Todd found some in black that is six feet tall. He stretched it around the metal posts that were already in place and attached it. The new fence looks just fine and keeps out the deer.

I can’t express enough, how good it feels to be getting things done. Now when I walk around outside, I’m pleased with how things look with both house and yard. There is still plenty to be done, but not overwhelming like it was.

Once things are back in shape, I should be able to maintain.

The roofers, Evan and Paul, were the same fellows who painted my house two years ago and repainted the garage doors this morning. Before they left, I asked them about two smaller jobs. One replacing the side door on the garage because the frame is rotting away on one side. And to brace the main support beam in my double-car garage. It has a bit of a sag in the middle, and I worry about it collapsing in the event of an earthquake. So after considering various ways of handling it, they came up with a plan. In a couple of weeks, they will do both jobs. I’ve worried about that beam for the past 18 years; that’s when I learned that it was a potential problem.

Inside, I’ve got the garage cleaned out and organized. And the same with my office. I still have the walk-in closet in my bedroom and the basement to do.

My wooden cabinets in the kitchen needed work, and last year I got them refurbished by a fellow with lots of experience working with wood. This year, I had him refurbish the wood trim around the tile counters in the kitchen and both bathrooms. It had been such an eyesore. I’m so glad it’s done.

Refurbished cabinets, refurbished wood trim around tile counter, and new vinyl floor.

The major project in the house is having new vinyl floors installed in the kitchen and dining room as well as the guest bathroom a month ago. I had wanted this done for about five years. Around the sink in the kitchen, I had created quite a debris field of where I had dinged the floor by dropping stuff over the years. No more dings. I love the new floor.

I also ordered a new wall clock. I loved the one I had when the chimes worked. But for the past few years, the chimes haven’t worked and the pendulum doesn’t work unless the clock is tilted just so. And it is actually too big for the spot and nearly everyone who comes upstairs bumps into it. Then the pendulum quits working and it takes some doing to get it working again. It’s been a frustration.

New clock has wonderful Westminster Chimes.

I decided to do something about it. I replaced it with a similar, but smaller, wall clock with chimes that work. And I’m loving it. I’ll donate the other one to Restore because it still keeps perfect time and looks good.

I can afford everything I’ve done only because I worked really hard selling books the past few years, and saved what I made. And, of course, this year none of it was spent on trips to see family and friends or to go on vacation. By the end of summer, I’ll have spent it all. So I’ll need to get back to selling books again.

I’m really loving getting things done.

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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