This Week May 8-14

Good morning all! Last week’s list.

  • Commute by bike two more times this week. (I did so this morning, it was glorious.)
    • Total and utter failure. Just didn’t do it. I was very tired and chose the extra sleep, breakfasts with Mr. Ink, and waking Miss Butterfly up instead.
  • Get to the yarn shop, get more yarn for Mr. Ink’s socks, and complete them. (I am tired of looking at them, I want them off the needles.)
  • Get all the plants that are waiting to be planted into the ground. (Pretty sure we just finished the final cold snap of the season.)
    • Not QUITE done here. All the bulbs are in the ground including a new garden area with sod dug up for my canna garden. But, there are still a few things that need to be put into the ground.
  • Start scraping paint around garage door.
    • I did this. I scraped, I sanded, I caulked, and I got the first coat of paint on the garage door frame. If the rain doesn’t show, I’ll get the second coat on tonight.
  • MOW!
    • Done, and of course it needs to be done again.
  • Commit to half hour of house chores in the evenings. Set timer for it.
    • SORTA? I sorta did this? Meaning, every day I didn’t work on a large outdoor project, I did this. But, with the scraping/sanding/caulking/painting project going on, I simply did the normal house chores to keep us an operational house the past 3 days.

It’s been one BUSY weekend! On Friday, I started scraping paint in earnest. Then, Mr. Ink made dinner and we went to see William Elliott Whitmore, one of my absolute favorite musicians to see live. I am never sure if Mr. Ink is going to enjoy himself attending a show by this artists, but he always seems to, in the end. I asked him about that, and he said “When I see him live, I am not sure I am buying what he’s selling. But, by the end of the show, I am ALWAYS buying it. So, a very good time was had by all.

Saturday morning Mr. Ink had to work, so I got right back in the groove with scraping and sanding. Before Mr. Ink came home, I had that door frame wiped down and ready for caulk. Miss Butterfly and I went out to do some grocery shopping and stopped to pick up caulk. I got the door frame caulked, and then put everything away for the day, knowing it would be 24 hours before painting. After that, it was digging up sod, putting bulbs in the ground, getting areas mulched and weeded, all around a good time.

I did get some spinning done too. I pulled out my second braid of Yarn Wench fiber, almost the same colorway as the one I used in the 3 braid combo. The new braid had a little more yellow. Since I’d had a considerable amount leftover from the 3 braid combo, I figured I could spin the singles from braid two, and use that and the leftovers for a 2 ply yarn.

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Leftovers are in the middle.

On Sunday, I had told Mr. Ink that I wanted to go on a training ride with my bike group. I haven’t been at the training rides much in the past few years, Mr. Ink and I have concentrated more on mountain biking. But, I decided this year I’d like to get back into it. Mr. Ink’s bike is out of commission, so he rode the pink fatbike again, while I rode my more streamlined yellow bike.  Now, these training rides are long. And they are punctuated by what we call the 3 “H’s.”  Heat, high winds, and hills. Now, we really only had 2 out of the 3 “h’s” going for us yesterday, it was only 84F so we wouldn’t consider that particularly hot here. But we had the high winds/head winds/cross winds that felt as if you might be blown off your bike and made you concentrate as much on balance as you were on riding, and, we had the hills as the area of Iowa we train in is incredibly hilly.

Quite frankly, a fatbike for a training ride was an unwise choice, but Mr. Ink did fine with it. And got much adulation about trying it, as no one else would have attempted that, no matter how strong a rider. He’s been contemplating getting a fat bike sized for him as his all around normal ride, so trying this training ride on one was a great idea. He’s still not completely sold, but at least he also knows he can do it.

There’s one incredibly steep hill out of the town we have brunch in that I worry every time I’ll have to walk. It’s at the top of a long 2 mile hill climb, so riders are already exhausted from that long climb when you have to switch into your easiest gears and reach down deep inside yourself to give that steep portion of the hill everything you’ve got left. I’ve seen riders, GOOD riders, fall on that hill from being unable to pedal fast enough to keep going, and being suddenly unable to get their foot unclipped and onto the ground. Since I wasn’t using a road bike this time, I worried that this would be the time I couldn’t make that hill. I made the hill! I was dead last, but I made that hill.

We rode 30 miles of hills and high winds. It felt great. These rides take up most of the day, but I always find them deeply satisfying as well. It’s not just the exercise, and pushing myself to the limit, it’s the social aspect. The fact that we are all in it together, all pushing equally hard. It’s a lovely camaraderie that I have missed.

After those 30 miles of hills and high winds, we got home, I changed, and immediately headed back out to pick up paint for the garage door frame. I remember my mom saying something about how a good paint brush made a big difference when painting. I got a good brush. And I also got the best exterior paint I could find, spending a bit of extra cash to make sure I was working with something that would stick around. It worked so well! I could actually free hand the garage door frame, rather than spending a bunch of time taping everything. I am really hoping it doesn’t rain this evening so I can get the second coat on, and then be done with it.

I also inspected the garage windows a little better yesterday. I’d noticed the two on the front needed scraping and painting. But, the two on the sides I hadn’t paid attention to. I was surprised, and genuinely pleased, to see that the two side windows have siding around them, rather than wood frames. No need to paint! So, that cuts the misery down by 2 windows. (I don’t like scraping and painting, not even a little.)

In any case, once the paint was on, I did a little more weeding, and then sat back at my wheel to get the tiniest bit of plying done ever.

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It may not be much, but it was satisfying to know I am headed in the right direction.

In the garden, the irises are making their appearance.

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This is the iris color in the main iris bed. I am hoping for a new color as well, as I had planted a new color last year. IF they managed to survive, it should be lovely to see a variety in that bed. In fact, I plan to see what colors I get this year, and add to them in the future.

List for this week:

  • Second coat of paint around garage door frame
  • Finish plying current spinning project
  • Commute by bike once this week
  • If it rains, set the timer for the extra half hour of house chores
  • Finish planting
  • Remove creeping buttercup (Pretty, but apparently invasive.)
  • Schedule a service appointment for the AC

I think that’s all I am going to list out. There’ll be plenty to get done, and I am sure knitting will get done as well. I am not going to plan on starting to work on the garage window frames yet, I think I need a scraping and painting break in between times. In any case, I am thrilled with the highly productive weekend that was had, it does feel like it’s setting us in the right direction for the year. Energy tends to wane, but this is prime forward moving energy weather!

5 thoughts on “This Week May 8-14

  1. wow, you got so much done! I LOVE painting, but I HATE the prep work. And your mother gave you good advice – best paint and brushes that you can afford save much time in the end.

    The yard looks so pretty! I am all excited, my daffodils and muscari bloomed this week! and while I don’t like heat, I could take some of your 84 degrees if it would help, lol. We might see 60 today. It’s been a cold wet spring.

    I thought of you last night – I got a new “gas grate cleaner kit” for our stove top, and it is lovely. Have to soak everything in it over night, but the grease comes right off! If only I could soak the whole stove in it…

    Keep on spinning that gorgeous stuff, it is so pretty – like a garden in spring. 🙂

    • We had in the 90s yesterday. It’s a bit much. Thankfully more reasonable weather this upcoming week. Including rain. Plants and ground are getting very dry.

      What is this gas grate cleaner kit you speak of?!?! Sounds WONDERFUL. Hah. Thankfully the new stove wipes down easily with very little scrubbing, even though it’s not a fancy stove. Other stove is in the basement, and we just aren’t sure what to do with it. Donate it while it’s still cruddy greasy? Who would want it? But it works perfectly well. It’s hard to be a good steward of the earth sometimes.

      • OK, this is going to sound so stupid. When we bought the range ten years ago, it came with apacket of cleaner, which got stowed under the sink never to be seen again. And so for all this time, I have fought witht ehgrates to get them clean. Then, I was looking for a sponge, found this stuff, tried it and OMG, it made it so much easier! So I tried to buy some. Sears doesn’t sell it, but they did tell me the name of it (because of course, I did not keep the packet.) I found it on GE’s website eventually, although in theory Lowes and Home Depot carry it, they just were out of stock. It is “General Electric WX10X10021 Cerama Bryte Gas Grate Cleaning Kit” Even Amazon hasn’t got it in stock today. It is about 30 dollars after shipping, and so worth it. I used an old dish pan to soak the grates in over night, and in the morning I still had to do some scrubbing, but nothing like what I did in the past.

        Glad th enew stove cleans up easily – and I hope you think of something useful to do with the old one, you are right, it is hard to be good to the planet sometimes, and gas appliances are forever. 🙂

  2. Your iris is gorgeous. Your lists are making me think Im a sloth. I do think my cold has me in a state of a deep fog. So moving off the couch is a big deal. 🙂 Fireman joined a cycling group here and is planning to ride tonight for 23 miles. I hope the group is welcoming to him .

    • If you are sick, you get full pass to do nothing until you are better. (I am the laziest sick person ever, even though Mr. Ink just gets on with things while he’s sick.)

      Be sure to tell me how Fireman’s cycling group went! If they are even half as friendly and enthusiastic as our local cycling groups, he’s going to have an amazing time and make great friends.

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