I started to strip the paint off the half-door I put up about a month ago, when I finally got so fed up with my baby gate that I threw it in the trash. The half door (like a Dutch door, but with only the bottom half) is doing its job wonderfully — keeping the kitchen and my sewing room closed off from toddlers — but it’s not very pleasing to the eye. It was salvaged from an old full door we replaced a while back. It didn’t look very good when we took it down to begin with, and the subsequent weeks out in the elements and in the back of my husband’s SUV only made it worse. So now it’s a chipped, nails-showing, crooked (either due to the hinges or the door frame itself, still working on that one) — but fully functional — mess. Not worthy of showcasing in print until it’s complete.
When I realized the paint-stripping process of the half door was going to take at least a kid-free weekend (the container says it’s “safer” but that’s not safe enough for me. Also, my husband frowned upon my scraping paint while cooking dinner), I switched to Plan B: straw bale gardening.
I mentioned straw, or hay, bale gardening a few columns back — I learned about it in my new composting book. Even though my big garden is located off-site from my house this year, I still want to have some herbs, lettuce and vegetables at home so they’ll always be on hand. My kids are crazy about tomatoes — they each ate one whole, like an apple, earlier this week while we were shopping at B&B — so Thursday afternoon I picked up two straw bales, a pot of parsley and three tomato plants (Golden Jubilee, Cherokee Purple and an Orange Stripey) from Downing’s. As I started to dig a hole in the bale to start planting, two things happened: I broke the blade off my only trowel and it started to rain. And it continued to rain until well after dark. There went Plan B, and you’re reading Plan C.
I am the queen of half projects. Although my straw bales will be planted, eventually, there’s no telling when, especially since now I have to go buy a new trowel. Luckily they are supposed to get a good soaking and sit for a week or so to start to decompose, anyway.
The half door will one day be completely done — kid-friendly chalkboard paint and all — but since it works just fine the way it is, it can stay that way until I find someone brave enough to keep my kids long enough for me to finish it.
Even as I write this, I’m in my halfway newly configured sewing room, sitting at a table littered with boxes, books and half-unraveled skeins of yarn, thanks to a playful new kitty (aka child distractor). I started to rearrange and clean the room last weekend, but was interrupted for some reason or another — I think a nap ended early, and my kids can destroy my sewing room in a matter of minutes, so I try and keep them out of there.
Not that it really matters anyway — the windows of my house have been open all week and now there’s a nice green coat of pollen on everything. Annoying, but well worth the fresh air.
I gardened some — weeding and thinning, arranging soaker hoses, pulling splinters from little exploring hands and having fun watering the plants and kids. But peppers, tomatoes and all the summer melons still need to be planted. And the kids still need to learn that they can’t pull up all the pretty little plants ... until they are ready to eat, at least.
I even managed to put together some new beds for the kids, and in the process was reminded that I need to fix a drawer and all the drawer pulls on my daughter’s dresser ...
Anyone want to baby-sit?