Sunday, October 10, 2010

Christmas Clutter Countdown Weeks 6 & 7

Christmas countdown banner

I have three sets of homemade gifts that I'm making this year for friends and family. I created a prototype for one of the Christmas gifts I'm making, refined it, and then gathered all the materials to make those gifts - a total of six in all. (Sorry I can't share it with you here - wouldn't want to spoil the surprise!)

I added two events to my December calendar, both of which I am really looking forward to. The first is the Annual Ladies’ Ornament Exchange that a friend hosts in her home. I will help with the invitations and also setting up the day of the event. I also ordered tickets for dear hubby and I to a performance of The Grinch Stole Christmas in mid-December.

The focus for these weeks was on getting our yards and home exterior ready for the upcoming winter. We really don't do anything differently outside for the winter - we don't store our patio furniture, it stays out year-round; we rarely unhook the water hoses and bring them inside; and we don't need firewood as our fireplace is gas powered. I decided to take time for a few landscaping projects I've been wanting to do in the front yard. I spent several hours working in the yard and was exhausted when it was all done, but I'm pleased with my progress.

I trimmed all the lower branches off the tree in the yard, trimmed both crepe myrtles and all the shrubs. Of course, I then had to tie up all the branches and put all the little items in a yard bag so they will all be picked up and taken to our city's composting center to be ground up.

I removed the stones that formed a flower bed around the tree since we don't use that bed for flowers (or anything else). This took some work as the stones are heavy and then I had to wheelbarrow them to the backyard. I smoothed the area around the tree to fill in the holes from the stones. I then removed the stones from one of the front flowers beds - I really didn't like the way this bed was shaped, so I basically straightened it out and turned it back toward the house sooner. I had to dig a new trench where I moved the stones to and then haul the extra stones to the back. I filled in the holes with some of the extra dirt and smoothed it out.

I had planned to move the stones from the flower bed on the other side of the sidewalk, however my energy gave out! I might get to it this fall, but if not that can be a spring project. I am happy with the progress I made and am very glad to have everything trimmed up before the holiday season! Plus, I got in a pretty good workout!

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