Friday, April 16, 2010

A Perfect Day for the Patio


What I treated myself to this week: Sweet Lemon Shower Gel, at The Body Shop.

Today it's sunny and incredibly warm for Seattle in mid-April. It's 69 degrees! I'm almost done with my work for the day, and I'm looking forward to my afternoon project.

This afternoon, before I go to "Girls' Night Out," I'll be cleaning off the patio, sorting my garden shed, and getting my outdoor entertaining areas ready for spring use. I use my patio as an outdoor office and whenever possible I use it for entertaining and lounging. My puppies are excitedly keeping me company outdoors, hovering nearby and sniffing everything I'm touching, but also taking lots of play breaks!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

- Do you need to buy any stamps? I used up a bunch yesterday doing my tax mailings, bill paying, and sending a few handwritten letters to nieces and nephews. I buy mine at USPS.com when I have time to wait 10 days for them to arrive; or at the post office when I stop in to drop off packages.

- Spritz your home with a spring home fragrance, or burn incense, if you are into that kind of thing.

- Fill your car with gas for the weekend, and visit an ATM if you need cash

- Make weekend socialization plans with friends and family

- Do your nails need cleaning, clipping, and/or polishing for the weekend?

- Need to clean out your car? I have a few magazines, parking validation tickets, straw wrappers, Kleenex and receipts to clean up out of the back seat. My stack of Trader Joe's grocery bags in the front seat should move into their proper home in the trunk. A quick dusting-off of the dashboard and stereo will make my car seem fresher and look a lot nicer.

- While you're in your car tidying up, do you need to replenish your emergency money supply? I need to replace the $20 I keep stashed in there (but sometimes blow at Taco Bell, naughtily).

TODAY'S PROJECT: Patio and Garden Shed

This afternoon I'm removing everything off my patio, hosing it down, letting it dry in the sun, and replacing the furniture and cushions after they've dried. I have a patio table plus umbrella, six chairs, and a side table. Also, on a lower level, I have a muddy, mossy, moldy concrete slab to scrub. Around it sit four plastic chairs (tacky, I have to admit, sigh!) and a fire pit table that needs cleaning out and wiping down.

I'll sweep, then hose off the decks, as well as the outdoor furniture. I have a lot of dead plants to throw out - I'll put their dirt and roots on my compost pile, then put the plastic tubs and pots they came in into my recycling bin. I'm ashamed to admit I left some Halloween lights and an outdoor extension cord out all through the snow, wind, rain and ice storms we had, so I worry they are unsafe. I am throwing them away, wastefully.

The side table, fire pit table, and patio table all need to be Windexed. It's too early in the year to get out my colorful outdoor pillows, but I'll get out my vibrant candleholders and put tea lights in them.

Next in line for attention is my garden shed. My exhusband stored some non-gardening related items in there, unfortunately, and left them behind when he moved. There are inexplicably some cardboard boxes stored there that can go into my recycling bin. A frightening amount of spiders live in the shed, so I'm wearing gloves while I sort and clean.

I'm hoping to clean out the garden shed to the point it only stores needed outdoor equipment: the two patio umbrellas, the lawnmower, a gas can, one bag of charcoal, one plastic bin of outdoor acrylic dishes, one plastic bin of fire pit tools and cooking skewers, my outdoor rugs, and my gardening tools.

If the sun is out tomorrow, I'll have a lovely outdoor office to work at (I do work on Saturdays sometimes). I might be bundled up in a sweater, and I'll probably be clutching a mug of hot tea in my hands.

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Embracing a Life of Solitude (NY Times)

Materialistic People Less Happy, Less Liked (CNN)

Pad Thai, an Easy Stir-Fry (NY Times)

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