July 15, 2020

Mid-July Check-In

It occurred to me today that it's the middle of the month already and I haven't even paid much attention to my July To-Do list. Between Jerry switching back to nigh shift, the July 4th weekend, the Cookies Summer Challenge, Noah's birthday, and now plans to go up north for a mini-vacation at my sister's, the month just seems way too short to get things done.

So, my list for July was the following:
  • Pull out the enormous bushes on each side of the house
  • Prime and paint the garage
  • Clear out my inbox
  • Touch up paint around the house
  • Make a plan for the front porch

It's the middle of the month, so I still have time (especially since I won't be coaching cross country this year--I'm still feeling kind of bummed about that, but I think I made the right decision). I've made a little progress, though...

Pull out the enormous bushes on each side of the house

Yes! Well, partly. While I love working on things in the garage, I despise anything having to do with landscaping. I'm terrible at it and I don't enjoy it at all. And Jerry thought it would be fun to do this project, so I just stood back and took videos as he worked on cutting them down today. After our hilarious attempt at splitting our hostas together, I knew that if something didn't go as planned, I wanted to at least get a video, haha.

Here is the smaller of the two...

And here is the bigger one after she used some shears to trim the bottom branches off...

It actually went really well, so I don't have a funny video to share. Jerry trimmed the branches off the bottom first, so he could see what he was doing, and then he just used a sawzall to cut through each of three branches that came from the base. He and the boys just dragged them down the driveway and tossed them into the woods across the street. He'd cut down both of the bushes in less than an hour or so. (I was cooking dinner while I did the second one, so I don't have pics from that)

Now, we still have base and the roots to deal with. We'll save that for another day, because it's going to require a lot more work. There are also green stains on the siding where the bushes were, so I'll have to see if I can get that to come off somehow. 

I'm glad the bushes are (almost) gone. According to Tim, the man who sprayed the house for spiders, those things are like spider magnets. And I trust him! We haven't seen a single spider, indoor or outdoor, since he sprayed. I am definitely going to have him come out annually.

We do need to make a landscaping plan, because now that the bushes are gone, we have hostas and weeds, hahaha. Nathan's girlfriend, Alex, enjoys landscaping and just did a lot at his house, and she said she'll help me when I'm ready. Lord knows I can use it!

Prime and paint the garage:

Done! I'm super excited that I managed to get that done. Now I'm going to be working on the finishing touches trimming the windows and door, etc. And finally moving things back into place! I don't have a better picture than this to showcase that the entire garage is painted, but it is. When I am able to move things back into place, I'll take more pics.

Clear out my inbox

I feel so horrible when I look at my inbox and see that I still haven't made a dent. I'm not a "canned response" type of person, and when someone writes me, I like to be able to sit down and write a thoughtful, genuine response. The problem is that I tell myself I'm going to do that later, but I never make the time to just do it. 

I certainly don't dread replying to emails from readers--I love to hear from you all! And it's because of the fact that I enjoy them that I take forever to reply. I'm always waiting until I can write a "good" reply. I feel like a canned response is disrespectful, but I also feel like taking two months to reply is just as disrespectful. 

Ideally, I would have a schedule for my blog. Writing a blog post at a certain time of day rather than waiting until just before midnight. Spending one day a week replying to emails. Updating the organizations tabs ("housekeeping" stuff) every two weeks or so. Maybe I'll make that an item on my August "to do" list--write up a blogging schedule.

I do have to say, though, that I am proud to have posted every single day this year so far! My goal on January 1st was to post something every day, even if it was short and meaningless. I enjoy having a post every day, even though sometimes I just can't think of a single thing to write about.

Anyway, as far as clearing out my inbox this month... no, I haven't. But the month isn't over! I have a 10-hour car ride up to my sister's place, so maybe I'll work on it in the car. That would be a nice way to pass the time.

Touch up paint around the house

I haven't done this yet, simply because I forgot I put it on the list, but it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours. It would take much less time if I was only using one color, but I'll have to switch out colors for different areas. 

There aren't any big spots that need touching up. I'm just talking about a little chip here or there from moving things around.

Make a plan for the front porch

This is stressing me out. I need to make a decision soon because we really can't wait any longer on it. It's falling apart and I need to either build a new one (which I think would be fun) or call some more people about doing concrete. I'd like to have concrete because it stays cool in the summer and it's more durable. I'm at least going to write down a few options and try to make a decision asap.

So, as far as my mid-month check in, I think I could be doing a little better, but I've checked off two items (well, one and a half, because the bushes aren't totally done yet). The hardest item on the list was to get the garage primed and painted, and that's done now!


  1. Hi Katie! I love reading your blog and just wanted to share something that has really helped me with touch up paint. They are these canisters that hold the paint in them and just have a tiny roller on the top. You twist them and then the paint goes into the roller. Then when you are done you twist the roller closed which seals the paint off while you clean it. Super easy to store and use! I’ll paste a link to show you since my explanation is a bit sketchy.

    I am in middle of painting cupboards right now which is such a project that maybe I shouldn’t have taken on while working from home with my two small kids 🤪.

    Good luck!


  2. I saw a tip on a blog once that is awesome! Whenever she would paint her inside walls, she would take a small canning jar or baby food jar and fill that with the paint so it would be super easy to do touch ups! She would also write the color combo on the lid in case she needed more made at the store. Genius idea, right???!!!!

  3. Hi Katie, long time reader but this is the first time I have commented on your blog. Have you looked into Blue Zones? Their recipes and articles are amazing! My husband and I started eating this way in January and we have both lost 25 lbs without having to count anything. The recipes are healthy, simple and full of vegetables. Just a thought.

  4. The green "stains" on the siding can likely be removed with a power washer, which is also great for walkways, patios, and decks. It is one of THE MOST satisfying tasks, since it gives immediate results.


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